When our three kids were very young, my husband and I used to bond over watching movies together after everyone went to sleep. Now that they’re a little older, the kids stay up later and seem to meander into almost all of our conversations. Our schedules are always jammed and it was getting to the point that sometimes weeks passed before we could have a decent chat about something leisurely of our own.
Last summer I decided we needed to find something for the two of us to do together before our relationship began to drift. Many ideas for new hobbies we had to toss aside immediately because of his travel schedule, and we didn’t want to impinge too much on our limited time as a family with the kids.
I came to the idea that the two of us should form our own exclusive bookgroup because we had been recommending books to each other incessantly over the years. We’ve always discussed our reading, but we’d never actually assigned ourselves a book to read at the same time.
We started off by picking two books, one fiction (Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety) and one non-fiction (Michael Hainey’s After Visiting Friends). These were excellent choices and gave us much to discuss. I had initially hoped our book talk would be over dinner out, but we found we were so anxious to talk about our reading that our discussion was far less formal and the books kept working their way back into our everyday dialog.
Although several months have passed since we finished reading our first book choices, our agenda this weekend includes selecting our next book picks. Both of us feel that reading together has been beneficial for our relationship, but I guess that’s to be expected from a pair who fell in love in grad school once they pulled their noses out of their textbooks long enough to notice each other.