According to this New Yorker article, science shows that reading out loud is “good for children, E.S.L. students, and (in a way) dogs.” And psychologists agree – it’s good for non-ESL grown-ups in a relationship too! There are many understandable reasons reading a book out-loud is good for a relationship: you share a common interest, it creates intimacy, and most of all – it is something you do together that doesn’t involve a screen (so no e-readers allowed!).
And I am no expert on love or relationships (although if you are looking for some real quality advice – here are 12 relationship tips from a wedding reporter), but I have to say, reading a book out-loud to each other is totally “me and chris’s thing”. When we tell people we do that some let out a big “aw!” while other’s roll their eyes and try not to puke. I totally get how cheesy it sounds, but I can’t deny how much happiness it brings us.
It all began when we went on our first REAL (non-family oriented) vacation together to Mexico and we had brought separate books, but Chris was loving his book far more than I was enjoying mine, so I wanted in on the action. It then became a tradition we did while on vacation, but we loved it so much we just started doing it at home too.
We have found the pros are endless and include the following: you get excited to crawl into bed together, you always have someone to discuss your thoughts on the book with, and most of all, falling asleep as someone reads to you is the BEST way in the world to drift off into dreamland. The only major con we have found is when your partner falls asleep and you keep reading and then someone always has to “catch up” before you can start reading the next night (but let’s face it, that is a serious first-world problem).
As for what KIND of books to read, we have really stuck with the more sci-fi, light-hearted, story-driven books. Mostly anything that is described as “Harry Potter for Grown-Ups!”. Here are some SLAM DUNKS we have read out-loud and really enjoyed:
– The Magicians (series) by Lev Grossman (This was the FIRST book we read out lout to each other!)
– The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
– American Gods by Neil Gaiman
– Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (while honeymooning in Italy – this is perfect)
– Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
– Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
– The Circle by Dave Eggers
Got a book to recommend? We are always on the hunt for what book to read out-loud next – so PLEASE for the sake of our relationship send ideas!