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Reading With Your Spouse: A Simple Way to Spend Quality Time Together

on January 8, 2015 by Ashley 14 comments

By Ashley, Contributing Writer

Finding quality time with your spouse can be a challenge. If you add children into the mix, it can make it even more challenging. I want to challenge you to find a simple way to spend time with your spouse on a regular basis. Quality time doesn’t necessarily mean having a date night either. Date nights are great and I am all for making going out together a priority, but sometimes you just need something simple you can do together after a long day to feel reconnected with your spouse.

Reading with my husband is perhaps the single most bonding thing that we do together! Here's how we do it:

Quality time will look different for many people. For instance, I like sitting on the couch watching a movie or show with my husband, but it is not my idea of the best kind of quality time. I honestly find it can sometimes make me feel even more disconnected. Watching movies or TV is something we still do, but I know there needs to be something else we can do that will help us connect better. So lately, my favorite simple activity to do with my husband is reading together. However, it took some time to find a way to make it enjoyable for both of us.

I have always loved the idea of reading a book with my husband. Early on in our marriage, I would often drop some subtle and not so subtle hints that I wanted to do this. I even gave him a marriage devotional book as a Christmas gift one year. We read through that book and another marriage book that I had been hoping he would read with me. I loved the time we spent doing this, but I could tell that it was not my husbands favorite activity.

After a year or so without reading together, I wondered if maybe he would enjoy reading a fiction book together instead of the other type of books we had read. I kept this to myself and pondered it for a while.

One night, my husband caught me looking at some books on the bookshelf. I pointed to a few books and asked if he had read them. He said yes and proceeded to ask me if I would like for him to read them with me. I couldn’t hold my surprise when I nodded yes. It has now become our nightly ritual to read a couple chapters before bed. We call it our story time and I can’t wait to find more books to read together.

Reading Fiction may not be same as reading a devotional or marriage book but there is something nice about curling up together with a book no matter what kind of book it is. I do love the idea of reading a good Christian book with my husband so we can both grow in our faith together. Maybe someday I will convince my husband to read another devotional or other type of Christian living book with me, but I know those books are not my husbands favorite to read so I am trying to make more time on my own to read those types of books. For now I will enjoy the time we spend together doing something we both enjoy even if it is just reading a fiction book.

Book Suggestions 

If you think reading is something you might want to try with your spouse, why not ask and see if they would do this with you? Like me, it may take some trial and error to find the perfect book but keep searching because it will be worth it. The kind of book you decide to read with your spouse will obviously be based on your mutual interests, but I hope these will give you some ideas. Some of these I have read and some are books I would like to read.


The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

The Love Dare Day By Day: A Year of Devotions for Couple by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences by Bill and Pam Farrel

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs


The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

My list of books I want to read myself is much longer than this one as it takes a little more thought into deciding on books that both my husband and I will enjoy.  I also have not been able to spend much time yet making this list, but I hope to keep finding more titles to add.

I would love your input! Do you have any suggestions of books you have read or would like to read that you would add to the list?

More Marriage Resources:

If you want to dive even deeper and discover Biblical resources for marriage, check out the following articles:

And you can check out this awesome Pinterest board from the top Christian marriage bloggers! Discover amazing marriage resources and article by following the board HERE.

Follow Jolene Engle’s board A Biblical Marriage on Pinterest.

Reading with your spouse - the perfect date night!

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. I know what you mean. I have suggested several christian books for my husband to read. I’ve read many of these books myself (about marriage, spiritual discipline, holiness, etc), but my husband just doesn’t seem to like them. Whenever he has time to read, he chooses a fiction book. When I see him read, I’m always a little disappointed that he didn’t choose a christian book. But I’ll think about the idea you suggest… and pray he will come to enjoy reading something spiritual!

    • Marianne, I understand your frustration. Maybe suggesting to read one of those books together instead of just giving it to him to read on his own will be helpful. You could also show interest in reading something with him that he likes first and then suggest a book that you want to read.

  2. I wish Justin liked reading! I’m a HUGE book worm, how did I end up with a guy who has no interest in reading?! I was reading him a book the other night… About Sonny Barger from the Hell’s Angels. Argh. At least it’s a start. Once we read ‘When Sinners Say I Do’ together now that I think about it 🙂

    Great tips. Reading is such a great way to spend time with anyone really!

    • Stephanie, I hope you can find a great book to read together! Even if reading isn’t his favorite thing, maybe there is another simple activity you could do together that you would both enjoy. I think it really is little things like this that help my husband and I feel more connected.

  3. I love this! My husband and I read together a lot when we were engaged– we worked our way through Christopher Paolini’s “Eragon” series together (all four books, although one we listened to on CD). Right now we are actually working through The Lord of the Rings! It’s taking literally months to get through, because we quit for a while, but we recently started up and I just love it. This is such a great post!

    • Jaimie, I love that you read together while you were engaged! I wish I had thought of doing that more then, especially since we didn’t go out on dates much because we had no money. I think I might add Eragon to my list. My husband has listened to the audio of it so I will ask him how he liked it. We are hoping to read LOTR after we finish the Narnia series. Oh and if you like audio books, the Harry Potter series (controversial for some I know, but I am pretty sure you have mentioned that you like it) has the best audio books I have ever listened to. Jim Dale does the most incredible voices!

  4. This is great! I decided instead of a new year’s resolution to work on our marriage this year. Our silver anniversary is in July, so I want to make the whole year special. I started with “Renew Your Marriage Month” this month on my blogs and we have a great book we are reading together right now. 🙂 I’ll be sharing this great post with my followers!

    • Dawnita, What a great resolution. Congrats on making it to your Silver year anniversary! My husband and I will celebrate just five years this July. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. We’ve read quite a few marriage books together. When we were first married, we had a half an hour drive to see either of our parents, so we’d often take a book with us and I’d read while he drove. It was a great way to spend the drive! Then we got into audio books… I still have great memories of listening to Ender’s Game while driving to my best friend’s wedding, and listening to the Chronicles of Narnia together while doing other drives. 🙂

  6. I just stumbled across your blog this morning and have already spent way too much time looking through it. I know I’m a little late, but I wanted to let you know that I’m LOVING this post! My husband and I try our best to have bedtime devotions every night before we go to sleep. However, I am CONSTANTLY begging him to read REAL books with me. You know, the kind that tell stories. Ha. I finally broke through last week by letting HIM pick the book. He’s an avid hiker and backpacker and is infatuated with the Appalachian Trail. We are reading a Granny Gatewood’s biography. She was the first woman to hike the entire trail. Um… Totally not my first choice, BUT WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS! I’m so thankful for your book suggestions! They are going to come in SO handy for us!