Here is our list of good books for couples to read together. They are funny but introspective. Educational but entertaining.

While they’re not all strictly “relationship” books for couples, they will all make you and your partner a better team, give perspective, and most importantly, provide tools to live by.

And, we hope, a few will blow your mind!

Books for Couples to Read Together Ryan and Alex Duo Life

the best books for couples to read together

The English playwright Joseph Addison once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Well, you may already know the massive benefits of working out with your spouse, so it may not come as a surprise that we also believe couples should read together.

Just like exercise, reading helps improve cognitive function, slows down aging, promotes longevity, and reduces stress.

In fact, one study found that reading for 30 minutes has similar effects on acute stress reduction as 30 minutes doing yoga!

As for longevity, Yale University School of Public Health published a fascinating study that found adults who read lived an average of 2 years longer than those who didn’t. Two! Years!

And ready for the best part?

When it comes to relationships, reading offers even more benefits. Multiple studies have shown that reading promotes empathy and a better understanding of others’ feelings and emotions.

Plus, reading heightens your analytical skills and improves memory. This makes navigating the ins and outs of a relationship much, much easier.

Lastly, if you’re looking to enhance visuospatial cognitive abilities, which you should be, then try puzzling as a couple (or as a family!)

Book Club for Two

Whether you choose to read together in a structured book club for two, or simply snuggle into bed each night with the same book going at your own pace, it’s not a big stretch to say that couples who read together stay together.

So, how do you decide which books for couples to read together? The truth is, any book you’d like is a great place to start.

For more relationship-centric books, we’ve put together a list of our personal favorites as well as recommended books by relationship therapists to further improve your relationship and bond.

Book Discussions

When reading books with your partner, build in discussion questions throughout… so yeah, a lot like a book club. But doing this could be equivalent to a session of marriage therapy. Here’s the science:

A University of Rochester psychology professor, Dr. Ronald Rogge, found that watching and having deep discussions about certain movies can be just as effective as marriage therapy. (Okay, so he studied movies not books, but we think the findings translate).

Here are the movies that can cut your chances of divorce in half with sample discussion questions.

However, it’s not just watching the movies that made all the difference. To reap the full therapeutic benefits of watching these movies as a couple, discussion questions are essential.

As you read these books together as a couple, ask each other thoughtful questions and share what you liked best.

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Our Proven Tools for Healthy Couples

Based on our research and experience, these are our proven tools to optimize your relationship.

Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, questions, and games for healthy couples.

Books for couples to read together

Here is our list of the best books to read as a couple. We’ve read (or are reading currently) and enjoyed all of them.

Since these are our favorites, we’ve left the list short and sweet, leaving room to expand the list over time.

The concepts and lessons learned in these books surpass all. And while we always strive to be inclusive and non-religious, some books do fall back on heteronormative (ie. husband/wife) language. Religion isn’t a focus of any of these books — something relationship books often fail at!

Please, if you have a book recommendation, share it with us in the comments and it will be on our Kindle in no time!

1. 8 Rules of Love

by Jay Shetty

8 Rules of Love Books for Couples to Read Together

The newest book on this list, published in 2023, is so refreshingly different and a completely unique relationship book for couples to read together.

Between Ryan and I, we’ve read dozens of relationship books over the years. They’re all kind of the same, with some slightly more helpful than others. But, wow, this one is nothing like the rest. Seriously, the perspective is so fresh and holistic, and we learned so much.

We had seen Jay Shetty on the bestseller’s list for awhile, but it wasn’t until his MasterClass came out that we finally decided to prioritize his book, 8 Rules of Love.

The first unexpected thing about Jay Shetty was that he lived as a monk in India for three years. He did it all — meditation retreats to pouring over thousand-year transcripts. And he realized that the same questions about love have been studied and answered for millennia.

This book is an all-encompassing experience of becoming a better person yourself and how to contribute and build a phenomenal relationship, together.

We give it a 10/10. It’s not just another relationship book… it has new, profound ideas and we loved every minute.

Books for Couples to Read Together Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Put this one at the top of your list of good books to read as a couple.

Whether or not you’ve even ever thought of personal therapy, this is a book that everyone — and every couple — should read.

In this true story, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist trying to hold it together for her patients while experiencing her own relationship woes. She also shares insights into what it’s like to be a therapist and talks in-depth about several patients.

Each of these patients is someone we can relate to, shedding light on how we can also work through our own problems together. Five stars for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.

We had so many laughs, learned a lot about the world of therapy and why it’s so important, and had endless discussions over the characters and how their problems related to our own lives.

Good Books for Couples to Read The Blue Zones of Happiness

We’ve been recommending this as a top book for couples to read together long before the author’s 2023 Netflix series Live to 100: The Secrets of the Blue Zones. And we couldn’t be happier that the concepts of the Blue Zones has hit mainstream media!

Based on the same science and research of The Blue Zones Solution (another excellent read), this book studies the world’s populations that are living the longest, healthiest, and happiest.

While not your typical “relationship book,” The Blue Zones of Happiness looks at all of our relationships: the relationships we have with our friends, family, nature, and ourselves.

A fun read that’s not too dense or science-heavy, take some time to learn about the proven methods of being happy. It’s wonderful, we promise.

4. The Five Love Languages

By Gary Chapman

The Best Relationship Book for Couples to Read The 5 Love Languages

If you only have time to read one book together, this is the best (hands-down) relationship book for couples to read.

The 5 Love Languages has been a relationship staple for decades, and for good reason. This book deciphers even the most complicated relationships by showing you how best to show (and receive) love.

It’s a short book but was ground-breaking for us. Seriously, just read and later re-read this one. It stands the test of time. And while the author is technically a pastor, this book (like all the books on our list) are non-religious.

Relationship Books for Couples to Read The All or Nothing Marriage
A book for couples at any stage in their marriage, from newlyweds and beyond.

Psychology professor and director of Northwestern University’s Relationships and Motivation Labs, Finkel has studied what it takes to create the best marriage you can.

What we love most about The All-or-Nothing Marriage is that it’s based on years of research. Concrete strategies and tips are shared on how best to navigate and optimize your marriage.

6. Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari

Funny Books for Couples to Read Together Modern Romance

This is the best funny book for couples to read together.

Brought to you by comedian Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation, Modern Romance is a hilarious and surprisingly data-backed look at dating in the modern-day.

Aziz analyzes how we used to date generations ago, and how online dating has changed how we look for and find love.

This is a laugh-out-loud book that might ring true with you and your partner, and will make you appreciate how wonderful it is to have your spouse!

Good Books for Couples to Read Hold Me Tight

This is the book that’s currently on our bedside tables (sort of, inside of our Kindles, that is)! Countless relationship therapists that we look up to recommend Dr. Johnson’s books and we’re overdue on reading it.

So far, it lives up to the hype, and it’s nice to have a female author’s voice from the relationship side.

This book goes through the conversations you should have with your partner, and why your focus should be growing your emotional relationship above all else.

Hold Me Tight is one for every couple.

Books to Read As A Couple The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work

If you’re looking for relationship books for couples to read, this is as solid as it gets.

John Gottman is a renowned relationship expert and shares his research on the seven simple ways are to make a long-lasting marriage.

Like Finkel, Gottman runs his own labs and experiments and helps decipher the data to bring all couples easy action items for their marriage.

It’s said that Gottman can determine within 15 minutes and with 90% accuracy if a couple will divorce in the next several years. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, here’s a lot we can all learn from him!

Books for Couples to Read Together Never Split the Difference
If you can, get the audiobook version (or his MasterClass)of this and listen together. Regardless, this is one of our more untraditional books for couples to read together, but an important one nonetheless.

The author, Chris Voss, was formerly the FBI’s top hostage negotiator. And while you and your partner may just be negotiating whose turn it is to clean the dishes, the truth is, many interactions in life are negotiations.

The point of reading Never Split the Difference as a couple isn’t to outsmart your partner. Instead, it’s to practice empathy, understanding, and motivation. All strong skills for marriage in our book.

Books for Couples to Read Together The Millionaire Next Door

Another non-relationship book, but a must. No matter who your money guru is or what your family finance strategy is, add a finance book to your booklist. It’s important that you’re both financially literate and discuss your finances often.

We recommend this book, The Millionaire Next Door, because it’s easy to follow and has a strong message.

The truth is, there are more millionaire plumbers than lawyers, and the book dives into the research. While its math isn’t always perfect, the lifestyle message is loud and clear.

For a deeper dive into the finance world, we’re huge fans of author William J. Bernstein.

Books for couples to read together the adventure challenge for couples
The National Marriage Project found that the secret to a happy relationship is strong communication, novelty, romance, commitment, and the ability to de-stress.

The same study also found that when you have “couple time” at least once a week, each partner reports being 4X happier with the relationship than those who have it less frequently.

“Couple time” was defined as one-on-one time spent talking or doing an activity.

While The Adventure Challenge book isn’t for your duo book club, we include it as a bonus because it will make you and your partner a better team. With this book, you have your next year of date nights already planned.

The company that went from a failed Kickstarter to a $100 million business in a few years has a seriously awesome product.

High-quality, spontaneous (and affordable or free) dates with the perfect mix of adventure and sentimentalism are awaiting you right now with The Adventure Challenge.

We highly recommend The Adventure Challenge: Couple’s Edition (with the camera). It’s a journal with 50 scratch-off dates/adventures/experiences. The premise is that you don’t know what the date is until you scratch it off, and then you’re committed.

We’ve done 21 of the 50 dates so far, and they’re all fantastic with some seriously special ones in there. From painting each other’s bodies to replicating a date night that your grandparents went on, we share in our full Adventure Challenge Book review and what our dates have been like.

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Our Proven Tools for Healthy Couples

Based on our research and experience, these are our proven tools to optimize your relationship.

Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, questions, and games for healthy couples.

Closing Thoughts

We hope you’ve added one (or all) of these good books to read together to your couples reading list. If you have an opinion or a great read to recommend, please share in the comments.

For more helpful resources for couples, such as fun hobbies for couples or the best couples massage class, head over to our Healthy Couples page.

If you’re like us and thrive when following a plan, check out our Proven Tools for Married Couples below.

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Proven Tools for Healthy Couples

A decade of experience, hundreds of hours of research and testing, and over 50,000 words of wisdom condensed into one PDF.

Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, questions, and games for healthy couples.

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

A husband-wife duo, two engineers, and the creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. 

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our to tackle our true passion:

Helping highly motivated couples optimize their relationship and health by cutting through the muck and sharing what the research says works.

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