- Do you have a bookcase?
- Are your books in piles on the floor?
- Do books feature in every room of the house?
- Are there any books for ‘loo reading’?
- Do your books sit on your bedside table?
- Are your books bleached by the sun?
- Do you have books of different genres?
- Are your books organised by genre, theme or colour?
- Do you fold your pages over or bookmark where you are?
- Are there scribbled notes around the author’s ideas?
- Do you have so many books your bookcase is bursting?
- Are you dreaming of a library room in your future house?
I don’t know what the different answers to these questions mean, but I think it’s worth pondering.
Books, and reading, feature so heavily in my life I couldn’t imagine being with a significant other who wasn’t a reader. But I have been with non-readers, and the phone addiction that replaced a love of books was enough to drive a wedge in our relationships. My new man is a reader. Admittedly, he has been reading the same book since the time we started dating, but it is a tome of a book. Spending mornings in bed reading affords us a kind of intimacy we can’t find in other areas of our relationships. Being in one another’s reading worlds is such an intensely enjoyable activity that I often find myself looking up from my book, stealing a gaze at my boyfriend absorbed in his book and feeling a warmth build within my tummy. Having a partner who appreciates my main passion in life (as well as writing) gives me the chance to share my enthusiasm in a way that I wasn’t able to with previous boyfriends.
Although at the start of our relationship I was learning to keep time to myself, we’ve learned one another well enough to be able to spend time together whilst also being lost in our own worlds. And so, for now, I’ve found my balance.