I really love reading, and i really love dates. Very rarely do these things overlap, for a start it’s finding the right person that’s willing, on a date, to sit in silence and read. I’ve always been interested in how two people can sit together in an unawkward silence whilst getting some productive reading done. Well, it’s finally happened.
I recently started seeing someone new (ooo) and they also read a substantial (ish) amount. We were discussing reading and the productivity of the task a little while back, and how we can stay focused on reading to get the job done. I suggested what i usually do, which is sit in a cafe, usually a specific one or two, and order a lot of tea and settle down to read for a few hours. The perk to this is having the background noise to not feel completely alone, but you’re away from most of the distractions of your home or people around you that you know.
So when they suggested that we go and do this together, i kind of sort of jumped at the chance. The idea of reading together meant that if one was to get distracted, we could focus them, we could sit together instead of being alone, and most of all, get loads of reading done.
I wasn’t sure how i would handle the silence between two people who were sat together, especially not for long amounts of time, but once i got focused on the novel and was determined to finish it, i quickly forgot about all the outside triggers and became more invested than i ever have in reading outside. It seemed to spur me on that someone right beside me was doing the exact same thing.
Personally for me it ended up being one of the nicest reading experiences i’ve ever had. Up there with reading in the park on a summers day, lay on a blanket. I liked having the companionship of someone reading and someone to distract me every so often to tell me a quip about what was going on around us, it pulled me to and from my fictional world, and that i enjoyed a lot.
My advice for anyone who’s struggling to concentrate on reading would be to definitely try out cafe reading with a buddy. It doesn’t have to be someone you’re seeing (because when does this ever happen really?!), you could do it with a family member or a friend, because i plan on doing this with as many friends as possible now! It’s a great little bonding activity for two people to do whilst feeling very productive with reading. What a wonderful afternoon!
EDIT: Since i wrote this post i have done a lot more reading with this person. On trains, in their flat and in more cafes. It definitely is more about the person you’re reading with. Ask around if any of your friends and family want to do the same!