Portal to the Pages

A quick glimpse into my thoughts on various fiction

Should You Read More?

on October 28, 2013

I came across a blog post recently on How to Read More and the title intrigued me. Upon reading the post, it set me thinking about my reading habits.

I would consider myself an avid reader; I am rarely not in the middle of one book or another. However, I found myself disagreeing with a lot of the points made in the above article. The author suggests that reading is something that everyone should do (no arguments here), that you should crack open a book at every possibility (what if I get interrupted?) and that you should keep all your books for re-reading and reference (sounds a bit overwhelming!).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that the author’s approach is wrong or should be condemned; it just isn’t for me. The main point he made that couldn’t be further from the truth for me was that you don’t read for fun. I have the exact opposite opinion! I love reading for fun! In fact, whenever I was in a reading-intensive year of education, I would lament that being forced to read dull, dry articles would leave me reluctant to read for fun. These articles and reading lists helped me do well in college, but they did not instill a love of reading in me. I think that if you were not a big reader, going through something like that would be more likely to put you off reading than encourage you.

Clearly, for me anyway, reading is an enjoyable hobby, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Which brings me back to the original title of this post. Should you (or should I) read more? I read a lot these days; over breakfast, during my commute to/from work, and sometimes on my lunch break and in bed (depending on how gripping the book is). However, I also have lots of other hobbies and activities to fit into my day. For example, I’m practicing for my driving test at the moment so I try and get out in the car every day after work. I think if I were to read more, it would start cutting into other, equally valued, parts of my day.

Some people hold the idea of reading quite loftily, as if it is somehow a “better” hobby to have than others. I don’t agree with this attitude. I get great enjoyment out of reading a good book, but I also get great enjoyment from seeing a good movie or playing a good computer game.

As I write this blog post, I can hear the music coming from Animal Crossing: New Leaf on my 3DS, which is waiting patiently for me to return to. I know I’ll enjoy playing that for the next few hours. Yes, I could be reading. But you know what? I read some of my book this morning so I’m alright for now. Playing Animal Crossing will also make me happy and at the end of the day, that’s why I choose to do any of my hobbies.

Should you read more? I don’t know, but if it seems like a chore you probably shouldn’t.

What’s your opinion on how much people should read?

Until next time,

Sinéad

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