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Read with the one you love

Stephanie Ziebarth

This morning, one of the first things my husband did was read a chapter of Draw the Circle to me. Every morning for the past 11 days, this has been our routine. He reads a chapter, we discuss it, and then we pray together. It has been lovely.

Reading with your spouse may not have crossed your mind. In fact, people often stop reading aloud when their children can read on their own. Not only is it valuable to continue reading aloud to your children even when they can read by themselves, but there is value in reading aloud with others–like your significant other.

Research on reading aloud abounds. Simply Google “benefits of reading aloud” and you'll find an abundance of articles about how crucial reading aloud is to your child's development and future success.

There are many benefits for adults in reading aloud as well. They include increase in knowledge, exposure to new subjects and styles, nurturing and expanding the imagination, building a sense of community (or strengthening a specific relationship), opportunities for extended discussion, pleasure (hopefully shared), providing demonstrations of oral reading and fluency, exposure to quality writing, and more. (See https://www.heinemann.com/shared/onlineresources/E00522/chapter2.pdf for more details on these benefits.)

My husband and I happen to both love reading. So reading together is a guaranteed success. And to read about something that challenges and excites both of us is bound to draw us together and spur us on toward growth.

I have a friend who used to read Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy (http://smile.amazon.com/Mark-Lion-Voice-Wind-Darkness/dp/0842339523/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438207516&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+of+the+lion+series) with her husband regularly. She even shared with me about a time they read it together on vacation in the Swiss Alps.

Can it get much more romantic than that?

If reading together is at the bottom of the romance list for your partner, perhaps you could experiment with the practice, but choose a book that is sure to spark his/her interest right away. Otherwise, your experiment might never reach completion.

Perhaps you could offer to pursue one of his/her hobbies together in exchange. Maybe you will find two new things you enjoy doing together. And perhaps your knowledge, intimacy, creativity and fluency will grow.

My challenge: try to read a book together with your partner by the end of August.

Need more convincing? Read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/10/in-praise-of-the-lost-intimate-art-of-reading-aloud/263436/.