I took an online quiz the other day, and it asked me for my favorite hobby. I was torn between the more adventuresome options, such as exploring a city or going out for drink, with reading a book. I eventually chose the reading option, because I definitely read more than I go drinking. Although I don’t think the two have to be separate by any means.
At what point did I start to think of myself as a reader? Are there any qualifications for being a “reader?” I’ve always, I think, thought of myself as a reader, but there were plenty of times, especially when I was in school, that the only reading I was doing was for class. So although I was doing plenty of it, can I say I was a reader?
I’ve also only recently become in any way in tune to book news. This newfound interest in what’s going on in the world of book selling and publishing came immediately after I no longer had school reading to do. I blame my freedom. Now that no one is telling me what to read, I have to decide for myself, and I like to keep in touch with the news so that I can constantly expand my “to-read” list and not get bored. Otherwise, I envision myself sheepishly wandering around the fiction section, only to slouch over to classics where I know I’ll find something that, if not enjoyable, is “important.”
I read a decent amount. I average about one book every week, which I know is not an insane amount, but it’s not a small amount, either. If I read one book every month, would I still be a reader? What about every six months? Every year?
I think being a reader is a state of mind. If you only have enough time to read a page every day, then you’re still a reader if you enjoy it and it’s part of your identity. Still, I think it requires some upkeep, or at least an intention to continue. I don’t exactly consider myself a poker player, even if I occasionally play a game. Maybe that’s a bad metaphor. Maybe not. Maybe I’m in a Thursday.
At any rate, I take a lot of pride in my reading. Which I guess is clear, since I have a whole blog about it. And that pride is what makes me a reader, yo.