7 Things To Expect When You Date A Reader


Readers are known far and wide to be some of the best people in the world. We are empathetic, focused, and always come through for the literary questions at bar trivia nights. Anyone would want to date a reader, right? Well, before you run to your nearest bookstore looking for “the one,” let me give you the lowdown on what to expect when you date a reader.

1. “Book Time” is extremely important

Similar to alone time, book time is vital to every reader. Most read every day, so you’ll have to be okay with giving your reader distance. You must also learn how to navigate the transition from book world to reality. If the reader pauses at a high note in the story, the transition will be easy. You two can head right off to your dinner date without issue. If one of the reader’s favorite characters is having a tough time, however, allow a few minutes before you rush your reader out the door. The toughest transitions come when the reader finishes a book. This can be a crushing moment, especially if the book was much loved, the ending was particularly incredible, or the ending was complete shit. Don’t worry, though. Time heals all wounds, and your night will eventually get back on track.

Your reader loves you, but she loved books long before you came around, and the truth is you might someday leave. Books? They’ll be around forever.

2. Moving will be absolute hell

There is no sight more daunting than a pile of boxes filled with books that need lifting. Do you know what readers have more of than anything else? Books. If you date a reader, you will be one of the lucky people who help move these bricks of doom from one apartment to the next. Just persevere. You can do this. Your reader is worth it.

3. You will be compared to literary characters

If your reader is slightly more suspicious of where you’ve been lately, she’s probably just in the middle of This Is How You Lose Her. If you have an argument, and your reader demands you explain yourself in a letter, she may have just read Mr. Darcy’s in Pride and Prejudice. It’s important to know that these comparisons are fleeting. It’s equally important to know that it could involve some very interesting role-playing at some point. So, this one has pros as well as cons!

4. All traveling will revolve around each city’s bookstores

You probably have things you want to do on your vacation, but your reader has already researched every bookstore in your destination city, and days will be planned around being able to get to all of them. There is nothing you can do about this but accept it. Your best bet is to decipher the bookstore map and try to squeeze in other historical attractions, restaurants, and activities in between. Just remember, each bookstore needs at least a two-hour time block, just to be safe.

5. Life will be broken up into chapters

Like it or not, when you met your reader, it was the beginning of a new chapter. She will inevitably make jokes like, “I wonder how many chapters you’ll last!” or “Man, this has not been the most interesting chapter of my life.” It’ll get a little tiresome, but just tell your reader you think it’s cute.

6. A brain

Your reader will most likely match or even exceed your wits, vocabulary, and ability to present a firm argument. Conversations will be deep, ideas will be drawn out, and points will be proven. It will not always be easy, but it will be more rewarding in the long run. It’s best to have an equal (or better) partner joining you on your life journey. Celebrate the brains!

7. Books will always come first

In order to pursue a passion fully, it must come first. Your reader loves you, but she loved books long before you came around, and the truth is you might someday leave. Books? They’ll be around forever, and so they always come first.

So, how are you feeling? Still excited to date a literary lass or a book-toting boy? Honestly, given the usual relationship red flags, I think a reader may be one of your best bets!

Either way, I wish you luck on your adventures, both in dating and reading. As for me, I'm late for a date with a book.

Christine J. Schmidt

Column by Christine J. Schmidt

Christine J. Schmidt is a writer originally from New Jersey. After receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase, she worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre as their artistic literary intern. She recently left Brooklyn, where she was a bookseller and events host at WORD, to reside in Los Angeles. She has previously written for New York Theatre Review, and her plays have been read and produced at theaters in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington. Coffee is her favorite thing.

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Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault November 7, 2014 - 9:43am

I think the only solution....is for only book lovers to date book lovers.

Too bad they're so hard to find.

SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading currently too many to list November 9, 2014 - 7:47pm

This is a cute article. I've not met anyone in Las Vegas who understands these things yet. My last boyfriend told me he hoped I would enjoy my life alone with my "stupid books". He used to get super pissed when I'd silence my phone and not answer his texts while I was reading.

Oh well! I don't even miss him a little. :)

Jodi Morris's picture
Jodi Morris from Georgia is reading Out Of The Box: Limitless November 15, 2014 - 12:13am

If it wasn't for my books I'd be a very bored person.

'Frances OdyJay''s picture
'Frances OdyJay' November 16, 2014 - 8:48am

Number 8:  No matter what you do or where you go, your book lover will have a book on them and maybe even pull it out during less stimulating parts of the outing. :)

Lee Patterson's picture
Lee Patterson November 16, 2014 - 5:45pm

I have bags of books, I always have a book or two on the go, I always read before I go to bed I've been known to read in the middle of the night, that is why I like note books you can read in the dark and not wake anyone up. I love to read, 


drdebra's picture
drdebra November 17, 2014 - 8:59am

You left out a few points, some I see in the above comments. :)

I'd add:

A perfect date for a reader is the two of you sitting on the couch together, each reading your own book. And delivery service for the next meal or two.

If you haven't yet gotten your beloved a Kindle or an iPad/tablet with a Kindle app, do so. Not only will you score major points with the gift (even if he/she claims to only like print books) but you'll cut down on the books added to the household because many new acquisitions will go on the ereader.

If you take on household tasks, childcare, and errands so your beloved can read, you'll score huge points and be considered the best partner ever!

When your reader is deep into a book by a favorite author, leave him or her ALONE! It might seem as if the book is more important than you. Alas, that will be true, but only for the few hours it takes to finish the story. Then you will once again resume your place of importance in his or her life...until the next good book.

Anthony Pirtle's picture
Anthony Pirtle November 23, 2014 - 2:56am

Why would anyone want to get involved with someone who'd put a book before them?