A few weeks ago, when I was talking about rereading favourite books, I mentioned that I thought it was very important for The Boy to read and love one of my most beloved books, The Razor’s Edge. I gave it to him a few years ago and, jokingly, said that we couldn’t be together if he didn’t like it. Now, I wasn’t really that serious; by that time we had been together for a couple of years so, clearly, we could make our relationship work but, I felt that if he didn’t at least like it, it would mean something. It would perhaps mean that we are fundamentally different people, which is not a great basis for a relationship. Not that I think you have to agree on everything with someone (that’s rather boring, isn’t it?) but surely, you want to be compatible on some things.
Anyway, he read it and liked it so all was well. However, now I’m thinking that I was somewhat irrational. This was more than the reflex of pushing favourite books on others. Why did I think that The Boy’s taste in books has anything to do with our ability to be happy together? I certainly enjoy reading books from a variety of genres; some books that I like are silly and fun, others are serious or depressing, so what does that say about me? Probably nothing except that I like to read. So I’m not sure why I assumed that a book could be a test of my compatibility with someone. Of course whether it’s a friend or a significant other, it’s nice to discover one more thing that connects us with them and, I know we all enjoy talking about our favourite books. Conversely, a mutual dislike of a book could also be a bonding experience. But other than that, I am not at all convinced that books can be a test of our relationships with others. And yet, irrationally, I still want my friends to love the same books that I do.
So basically, I’d love for you to tell me that I’m not crazy and that you do it too! Do you want the people close to you to have the same feelings towards a book as you? Do you try to get people to read the books you love? What would it mean to you if they didn’t like them?