Prior to the wedding, D and I lived in different cities. We were both in the Phoenix area, but we lived almost an hour apart door to door. This led to a lot of driving AND a lot of creative dates. One of my favorite places to meet was always at local bookstores. We brought our laptops, whatever book we were reading together, and our calendars. Reading on our own time and then talking through books together was a great way to get to know one another intellectually and spiritually. Our reading material caused us to ask questions and bring up topics that might not have come from a night out eating Italian food and catching a movie.
We started reading our first book together about two months after we started dating and have continued to do so even a year into our marriage.
Here was our reading list pre-marriage:
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Van Auken
A Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Before you plan your Wedding… Plan your Marriage by Dr. Greg Smalley
Books we’ve read aloud to each other:
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
The Voyage of the Dawntreader by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters (we tried!) by C.S. Lewis
No Coins, Please by Gordon Korman
Cannery Row by John Steinback
We also really enjoy listening to books on CD on any of our long roadtrips.
I thoroughly recommend books as a way to deepen any relationship or community group. I would also take any recommendations for our next book to read aloud once we finish Cannery Row. 🙂