For most people, reading is a solitary, silent act. But some couples also turn it into a joint venture by reading aloud. Their literary equation is: 2 people 1 book = shared pleasure. Whatever the season, whatever the subject, it’s their personal version of an audiobook.No one pretends this is a widespread pastime. But talk to couples who do it and their enthusiasm is obvious. In addition to broadening their reading, they find it creates a bond that doesn’t happen when they sit passively in front of the TV.
Readings by the couples interviewed by Christian Science Monitor columnist Marilyn Gardner include authors such as P.G. Wodehouse and Charles Dickens, works such as The Medusa and the Snail, Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Bible, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. “Discussion is a word that comes up again and again as couples describe the joys of reading together.”
I still prefer audiobooks. We always bring several audiobooks along on road trips. One of our favorite memories is of the time when, driving from St. Louis to Florida for our daughter’s swim meet, the three of us sat in the parking lot of a gas station to finish listening to a suspenseful part of Clear and Present Danger before killing the engine. But I just don’t think reading aloud for a long time in a moving car is a pleasant way to travel. I’d rather let someone else do the reading.
My husband and I often enjoy the same books, but we each listen separately and then discuss the books when we’ve both finished listening to them. Logistically, this just works better for us, since we both listen to books on our iPods while driving, exercising, and doing household chores. Recently we’ve listened to and discussed In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. My husband has already finished listening to Ken Follett’s new book, World Without End, and I have it coming up next on my books playlist. After I finish it, I expect we’ll have a lot to discuss.