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Division of Labor – Clearly the To Be Read list is my job

>> Friday, September 24, 2010

Obviously, in any marriage, some responsibilities are shared and some tend to become the duty of one spouse more than the other.

Clearly in our marriage, he’s in charge of the yard and I’m in charge of the To Be Read list. Proof of this came earlier this week when The Hubster was heading home from a business trip to Washington, D.C.

The text message I received read:
I’m in Chicago. I also finished reading Mockingjay. Is there any book you can think of that I can buy that we both want to read?

Is it any wonder that I love this man?

He likes to tell people that while he likes to read and enjoys books, he doesn’t spend a lot of time reading nor does he read fast. He says “My wife reads two books a week, and I read about a book a month.” He says that I screen the books first and all he has to do when he needs a new book is pick one off the stack I have left on his dresser. We’ve always had similar reading tastes. I remember when we were first dating and I went to his apartment for the first time. Of course I headed straight to the bookshelf and found many familiar books and authors there. I knew then that this was a relationship that had some possibilities. Obviously I was right. How do singles with ereaders sneak a look at the reading habits of the person they're dating?

Our reading list is pretty much managed by me. There are many series and authors that we both like and those are the books I tend to buy. If I know it’s something he won’t read, I’m more likely to get it from the library. When I finish a book that I think he’ll like or is in a series we both read I just add it to the stack on his dresser and he’ll just browse there when he’s ready to start a new book. He never has to pay attention to which is next in a series because I’m the keeper of the book list and he can check with me.

I had to laugh at his text message the other day, though. I pulled up my TBR spreadsheet and gave him three possible choices from series for the next book we needed.

He picked up a copy of Persuader by Lee Child and all was good. For a change of pace, he gets to read a book before I do.


Karen :) 9/24/2010 6:53 AM  

I love it! Bill and I are starting to do this since he retired. Right now, I am reading "The Help" by my minister's cousin Kathryn Stockett. He read it first this time.

Kay 9/24/2010 7:27 AM  

This is so similar to the situation in our house! However, we rarely read the same books. I am the keeper of his TBR list though. I finally made him a spreadsheet of his own so I could keep track of where he was in his series. I keep his drawer of books stocked and he goes to it and picks whatever appeals to him next. I know...I'm an enabler! He says I pick better than he can and he rarely can even remember the name of the author. However, he knows immediately after reading a summary whether he has read the book or not.

I'm just glad that he reads. Not nearly as much as I do, but he has his moments. Mostly on business trips.

I salute you as one keeper of the TBR list to another! LOL

Thoughts of Joy 9/24/2010 7:30 AM  

This could be my post - almost (few differences, not worth mentioning). I think we clearly got the best deal of the two duties. :)

Meghan 9/24/2010 11:37 AM  

How wonderful! My husband and I have quite dissimilar taste in books, so even when we do read the same thing we often have totally different reactions to it (even if we like it). He does tend to get me to read whatever he's read and liked, but it rarely goes the other way around because I know what he likes too well - and it's not generally what I'm reading. =) He also refuses to buy books, because I have so many and he assumes he'll like some of them at least!

Michelle 9/24/2010 12:59 PM  

My husband and I have started something similar! In fact, he just recently finished a book I had selected for him, and his next words were, "what else do you have for me." I do like it because it means I can discuss the novels with him, making my enjoyment of the novel that much better.

Mary 9/24/2010 6:07 PM  

My hubby and I do NOT have similar tastes in books. He's a suspense lover and I gravitate more to contemporary and historical fiction. That said, I've crossed over to his side a couple of times and we both love Richard Russo (his books are on our keeper shelves).

Great post!

Linda 9/24/2010 10:57 PM  

Since I'm the holder of the library cards, I determine what we're getting from the library. I keep lists of books for both us. Although sometimes he picks his own books, but mostly relies on me to choose his books.

Bookfool 9/25/2010 7:59 AM  

That is so cool! My husband and I have a tiny bit of crossover, but not much. I will tell you, though, that the nicest thing my dyslexic husband ever said to me was, "If not for you, I probably wouldn't read at all. Nobody could live in this house without learning to love books." Awww. How sweet is that?

Kailana 9/25/2010 9:08 AM  

This was a great story! Me and my guy have similar reading interests, but he hardly ever reads. He always tells me he doesn't have enough time. When he sees me reading a book that he would likely read, if he read, he asks about it and we discuss. It works out in the end, I suppose. Actually, if he shows interest I tend to read a book sooner just so we can have that connection. Actually, I think I read non-fiction more than I used to simply because once I am finished I can prattle on about all the things that I have learned and have someone to listen to me...

Lisa 9/25/2010 1:19 PM  

I pick out my husband's books too. I don't usually read the same books, but I do keep up with what he likes and bring home library books for him. I love it when I find something he loves.

Book Worm 9/26/2010 8:11 AM  

I am so jealous of all you ladies whose husbands read! My husband wouldn't pick up a book to save his life! LOL! Great story!

Framed 9/26/2010 9:34 AM  

Great story. My ex never read books. If I ever decide to try again, I will definitely check out his reading habits.

Les 9/26/2010 7:11 PM  

I love this!! My hubby and I both share a passion for reading, although he tends to read a lot more nonfiction than I do. And he reads so much faster!!

Sounds like a lot of us married voracious readers. Like Framed, though, my ex never read anything...well, maybe TV Guide. ;)

Care 10/04/2010 7:37 AM  

-->"Clearly in our marriage, he’s in charge of the yard and I’m in charge of the To Be Read list."
and you bring up an excellent argument against ereaders. How can we spy on people reading while traveling, too?!

SuziQoregon 10/09/2010 8:26 AM  

I've loved reading the comments on this post. It's funny how many of us are the keepers of the TBR list, whether or not we read the same books as our spouses.

Karen: coll that you have a connection to Kathryn Stockett.

Kay: I have a spreadsheet for The Hubster too.

Joy: I agree - we got the best of the deal on the division of labor.

Meghan: We usually have similar reactions too book, but when we haven't it's been fun discussing why.

Michelle: It is fun to have someone right in the house to discuss some of those books with. We had a great chat about Mockingjay when The Hubster got home.

Mary: Well even if you don't keep the TBR it's nice to have someone to filter the genres you don't normally read and make recommendations.

Linda: Oh yeah - The Hubster doesn't even have a library card - I'm the library person too.

Bookfool: Oh what a great thing for him to say!!

Kailana: The Hubster doesn't spend as much time reading as I do either.

Lisa: Oh you're a sweetie to keep him stocked with books. It's nice to find one you just know they'll like isn't it?

Bookworm: Aww - glad you liked the story.

Framed: Yes - checking out his reading habits is a good plan!

Les: LOL at TV guide ;-)

Care: Glad you liked that - I got the good end of that deal ;-) I love to check out what my fellow train commuters are reading - just can't do that with ereaders.

Inside A Book 10/13/2010 4:34 PM  

What an awesome post AND comment! We are so similar as well. I love and celebrate the differences and have a blast with our similarities. It just adds to our library.

I think our favorite "I love you's" are finished books on the other's pillows with post-its attached...."You'll love this one"! What a sweet sentiment.

Thanks for sharing. It made me smile

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