for writers and readers….

When did reading become a competitive sport?

Are you a fan of reading challenges? 52 books in a year that kind of thing. Or do you support the call for slower, more thoughtful reading?


I’m seeing lots of posts for sign ups to reading challenges. Some people have signed up to read one book a week, some have signed up to read a lot more and others to read fewer. Some people are already bragging that they’ve ticked off the first book from their reading challenge.

I must have missed the memo that said reading was now a competitive sport.

I thought reading was about other things. I thought it was about taking the time to fully immerse yourself in the world that the author has created. I thought it was about walking in someone else’s shoes for a while so you can understand the world from a new perspective. I thought it was about developing insights, empathy and knowledge, the useful tools that you can hold on to when great change tears through your life or the lives of others.

What I didn’t…

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4 comments on “When did reading become a competitive sport?

  1. Glen Donaldson
    January 2, 2016

    I vote this best post of 2016. Allright, ‘so far’. This reading trend is another symptom of the need some people feel to record and ‘data-fy’ everything, accompanied by the belief that if something is not measurable it’s not worth undertaking. Phoey to all that! People need to take time to stop and smell the roses, even if they need to set an alert on their phone to remind them to do it.

    • bridget whelan
      January 2, 2016

      Agree with you and Pam, although I suspect that’s partly because I’m naturally inclined to take life at a gentler pace….

  2. Glen Donaldson
    January 2, 2016

    Has anyone seen the GOODREADS 2016 Reading Challenge emails in the last 48 hours? Can you believe one person on this list called ‘Nikki’ nominates 110 books as her 2016 reading goal ? !

    Inspires bad puns about where this person intends ‘nicking’ the time from to get through all that. Call me old-fashioned but I thought goals were supposed to be not only aspirational but achievable as well.

    Human beings sure can be a competitive lot when they set their minds to it. Is this the literary equivalent of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’?

  3. Pingback: Reading as a competitive sport | The Proof Angel

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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