Despite sharing a few innate qualities — an inability to tell the difference between venting and asking for advice, an enduring obsession with The Big Lebowski, etc. — boyfriends, as a species, come in myriad forms. Some make you put up with their insufferable puns; others leave you notes bearing messages like “You’re breathtaking.” And some just want to read you a 250-plus-page historical-fiction book over the phone.
This may come as no surprise, but Cory Booker, presidential candidate and aspiring wife guy, is an Audiobook Boyfriend.
We learn of this detail in Jada Yuan’s Washington Post profile of Rosario Dawson, which gives insight into Dawson and Booker’s one-year relationship and is filled with the sort of endearing yet slightly cloying details one associates with a very effusive new-ish couple. We learn of Booker’s nickname for Dawson (“RIB,” or what her initials would be if she married him), their shared passions (“they both enjoy pointing out that they are vegan”), and how Booker fumbled asking Dawson for her number (“Uh, how would I get in touch with you?”). Also the fact that Booker regularly FaceTimes her to read a book aloud. To quote the Post:
Dawson says they went two months without seeing each other. But they’ve made up for it with FaceTime, which they try to do twice a day. He’s gotten in the habit of sending her music every morning, and he just finished reading David Benioff’s World War II novel “City of Thieves” to her over the phone.
City of Thieves, let us emphasize again, is a 250-plus-page novel set in Leningrad during World War II. The process of reading it aloud would take, by moderate estimates, five hours. It could even take more like seven.
But as it turns out, Dawson isn’t the first girlfriend to whom Booker has read a book over the phone. In a February 2016 interview with the New York Times, he recalled being in a long-distance relationship in which he and his girlfriend “decided we should read books together.” They started with The Lovely Bones (her choice). “Before I knew it, we were reading the book out loud to each other, over the phone, and I was drawn in,” he said. “Soon we were reading chapters on our own, and she was telling me to slow down and not get too far ahead.”
Hey, whatever works!