It Gives You Something To Talk About
Obviously, if you’re always reading something, you are automatically armed with a trove of conversation topics. You can worry less about what to talk about if you’re reading something on the New York Times Bestsellers list, a book everyone had to read in high school, Harry Potter, a weird Feminist book nobody has heard of, or even, let’s be honest, just People magazine. (Do you ever read the letters at the beginning of that publication? They are insane! I could write a book!)
You Can Learn From Other’s Relationships
The most compelling fiction and non-fiction offers valuable insight into people and how they relate to each other. Romeo and Juliet taught us about tragedy in love, Anthony and Cleopatra taught us about political power, Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere taught us about sacrifice, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler taught us about balancing love and hate, Elizabeth and Darcy taught us about love and social status, Tristan and Isolde taught us about grief and broken hearts… I could go on forever. But you should get reading on your own. You’ll realize what you’re willing to give up and what you yearn for and grieve for and love and hate, too.
You Learn About People
It’s always a little creepy to hang out about writers, because you know they are observing you in a deep, analytical way. All books basically are tackling the question Why do people do what they do? What are they thinking? They’re good qualities to have when you’re looking for a mate. After reading 800 pages of Anna Karenina, you are so immersed in the characters’ thoughts, you’re used to tackling their psyche and ready to do that to people in real life. Just try not to analyze your date quite as much as you’ve analyzed Mr. Darcy. That’s not fair.
Reading Makes You Smarter
Duh alert: you literally become a smarter person by reading about anything. You can read about science or pop culture or sports or music and become a more educated person. I know I did this after college, which is when I really became a voracious reader. I missed the opportunity to grow my education in classrooms. So I do it with books. I know I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t know about a million things, or at least doesn’t have curiosity for a billion things.
It’s A Good Litmus Test
I’m not saying that literate people cannot fall in love with illiterate people — I know that love is blind. But if you are really into reading and you meet someone who hasn’t read a book since the seventh grade, you might have an infinite amount of non-trivial differences with this person. People who love reading are very different than people who don’t love reading. And if you find yourself with someone who shares your love of reading with you, it says a lot about your similarities and how those similarities will strengthen your relationship. Plus, reading the same book at the same time is hot.
Reading Is Sexy
And you look sexier reading a book, and you’ll definitely get hit on more. A book is the perfect conversation piece. And being a reader is a turn-on. Do you know how many times I got hit on for the two days while I was carrying around Kafka’s The Trial? Three. And that is a lot. Really good odds.
You Can Use A Book For Protection
If you are carrying around a hardcover version of War and Peace and your date gets fresh with you, you are automatically armed with a discreet weapon. Some creep might think you’re a meek little book nerd, but what he won’t realize is that you’re an ass kicking book ninja who isn’t afraid to take some Leo Tolstoy to the juglar. A guy knows not to mess with someone carrying pepper spray, but a book is a much less obvious weapon. And it says something about you. “I’m not just reading this book because it’s blowing my mind and making me a better person, I’m reading it because I am not afraid to use it.”
You Will Have Something To Do (That Isn’t Drugs)
It’s clearly good to have healthy hobbies, and reading is one of them. Being a reader means you devote time to something positive. It’s an investment, a life philosophy. That time you spent with your nose in a book could have been spent invested with your nose in other things. Reading — at least it’s not blow!