This annoyed me. It is widely known how much I love books, reading books, talking about books, writing books. But really dumping somebody because of what they read or don’t read? Ridiculous. What infuriated me was the barely implicit intellectual snobbery as if there is some external arts police which dictates what people should and shouldn’t read. Probably because I am a hardened romance reader, used to the slings and arrows others cast at one of my favourite genres.
But without going into a long digression into how much this cultural snobbery sticks in my craw, I don’t think that it’s a particularly helpful outlook to have when dating. I can accept that sometimes the things we like and dislike reflect aspects of ourselves. For example if a prospective boyfriend read misogynistic tomes then I might have a issue with that. More because it reflected his attitudes, than disliking the book itself. However, I’m a romance reader and a feminist, go figure. Our beliefs and what we enjoy reading can often be completely different things.
Also it just seems that you exclude a vast swathe of the population by ruling out those who do not share our literary interests. Books I can compromise, on love I cannot.
Or as Levy says: ‘I think sometimes it’s better if books are just books. It’s part of the romantic tragedy of our age that our partners must be seen as compatible on every level.’ Word.
Nobody exists in this world whose sole point is to complement you. And if this paragon did exist neither too high nor low brow, who read neither too little nor too much, who loved the same musicians, authors, films, artists, what makes you think they would want to go out with you? I like myself but I would never want to date a male version of myself what would be fun in that?