Is reading a hobby? Is it? Is it?!
Whoa-whoa, hold your horses, you fast reader.
It wouldn’t be just enough to say: yes, reading is, in fact, a hobby.
So many more aspects about it can make your head spin.
If you browse all the articles on the Internet explaining when or when not reading may be called an enjoyable pastime.
Let’s broaden your scope of reading-as-a-hobby perspective.
We’ll also dwell on the pros and cons of reading and whether you can boast of being an avid reader when applying for a job.
Why Is Reading a Hobby, And When Can It Become Something Else (Habit, Routine, Or Even Obsession)?
Reading is a hobby
Could you please pass over that dictionary? Right, that one.
Let’s consult some reliable sources on the matter of how much of a hobby the process of reading is.
In the Collins Dictionary, for example, a hobby is defined as “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”
But any dictionary will give you pretty much the same description of a hobby.
So, can reading be treated as a hobby?
As you may get from the definition above, it depends on the time when you read (whether you do it in your spare time when you’re not working) and the level of enthusiasm you attribute to the process (how passionate you are about it).
What does it take reading to become a habit, then?
When reading turns into a habit
Eventually, reading can transform into a habitual activity – a customary practice that is repeated on a regular basis. And very often, it’s hard to give up.
Take a good book to bed with you – books do not snore.
– Thea Dorn
Do you have any reading habits?
Like, for instance, grabbing a book or opening your laptop for a nice read before bedtime?
It’s not a habit, though, if you do that out of necessity practically every evening, let’s say to prepare for a class.
I-hate-reading-but-do-it-for-school or reading as a mundane routine
Does it feel that reading textbooks can lull you into a coma?
In this case, it isn’t a hobby, and you can call it a boring routine. Especially when it comes to compulsory education and all text materials, you need to read (ok, sometimes scroll through) while doing your homework.
Reading as an obsession
Those of you who clicked on the previously mentioned link to the Collins Dictionary and looked through some other meanings of the word “hobby” must have noticed the archaic one – “a small horse or pony”.
Why does it matter? Because small horses may grow into large ones.
And sometimes even become enormous in size. The same may happen to a reading hobby.
It can reshape itself into a reading lust – a maniacal and uncontrollable desire to have lots of reading experiences.
When it becomes “your brand of heroin” (a slight reference to “Twilight” here).
However, not always do people go to the reader’s “nymphomania” extremes.
There are bibliophiles who “suffer from” bibliophilism, i.e., the love of books and passion for collecting them.
And there are bookworms (see bibliophile vs. bookworm) who may even get offended if you call reading a simple and entertaining thing they can do at leisure.
But is reading a good hobby, at any rate?
Oh yeah, it absolutely is! And that’s not because of our subjective experiences (ok, not only for the reason of how we feel when falling into the realm of a fascinating story).
Reading is a highly beneficial hobby. That’s a proven fact. Have a closer look at the evidence below.
Why Is Reading A Good Hobby? (Don’t Thank Us For Benefits #4 And #5, In Particular)
#1 It throws you into the informational pool of knowledgeable-skills-or-skillful-knowledge
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.
– James Bryce
No proof is needed here. Because you know perfectly well how much you can learn while reading.
Like, for instance, how to mount your first broom or how to use those beads or silver vaginal balls in practice (oh please, don’t tell us you haven’t read “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” or the “Fifty Shades” trilogy).
Never meant to sound sarcastic! Every reading experience is priceless.
And if you swim well as a reader, you won’t get drowned in tons of information and make the best of it for learning purposes, self-indulgence, or to cope with your emotions.
#2 It is a stress-buster and depression-killer
According to the University of Sussex study, you can reduce the level of stress by 68% when you read for 6 minutes in a row.
Reading also alleviates depression symptoms and helps overcome anxiety and grief. That’s why bibliotherapists sometimes prescribe poetry and novels for therapeutic purposes.
They also recommend self-help books, even though fiction is more therapeutic.
#3 It helps slow down mental decline in your older age
A 14-year longitudinal study proves that reading reduces long-term decline in cognitive function in the elderly.
Another investigation on mental activity shows that reading saves memory and cuts brain power deterioration by 32%.
Isn’t that info enough for you to read like crazy and never stop? If not, let’s move on.
#4 It prolongs the longevity of living by 2 years (sorry for the tautology)
But wait – hold your “wow” for the time being. You haven’t seen the next benefit of reading yet.
So readers die later?
Yup. Reading books for at least 30 minutes a day will add two years more to your lifespan.
Never thought about extending your life expectancy?
Well, you might start thinking about it now, turning reading into your daily habit.
#5 It awakens orgasmic energy
And now we’re ready for your “wow.”
And you still dare to doubt whether reading is a great hobby?
Hell yeah! It’s the greatest hobby ever! Especially with enhanced imaginative skills, which we’ll talk about in the next paragraphs.
#6 It enhances your fantasizing skills
Need stimulation to develop your imaginative abilities?
Manipulations with pictures in your mind while reading words boost imagination and act like a muscle, according to the research on how readers beget imagining.
Do you have an immersion-into-the-book capacity? Deep enough to imagine yourself a fragile duchess with the too-hot-to-look-at duke by your side? (Did you also feel those goosebumps reading “The Duke and I,” the first book about the Bridgertons?)
You may go wherever your brain takes you and penetrate new worlds.
#7 It enables cheap travel (even through space and time)
You may not worry about going broke with your trips. You can travel in books!
Alternatively, you may want to answer the question: “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?” with Thomas Kohnstamm explaining it to you and guiding you in his book.
And after that, perhaps, you might need to reconsider your leisurely travel schedule.
But before heading somewhere off, you naturally put your favorite book into your bag or download some e-books to your mobile, don’t you?
#8 It gives you the feeling of social belongingness
We read to know we’re not alone.
– William Nicholson
Doesn’t it feel pleasant to be a member of the reading class?
Getting lost in a book, as psychologists claim, you satisfy your need for human connection. Reading helps you better understand other people, too.
But these are only a few advantages. You can find some more benefits of reading that will make you rethink your preferences if you’re going to face the choice of buying a book or a hot dog, for example.
Besides, you probably won’t put “eating hot dogs” as a hobby in your resume (unless you’re a hot dog eating champion, of course). You can do that with “reading”, though.
Is Reading A Hobby For CV?
Certainly, it falls into the category of Hobbies/Interests in your CV. But giving one word “reading” won’t do you any good.
How to mention reading as a hobby in a resume in a smart way?
Explain how relevant it is to the position you apply for. You can mention something like this:
I prefer reading fantasy books, and I often discover inspiration in them to create unique designs.
Quite a beneficial hobby, isn’t it?
Aren’t There Any Drawbacks Of Reading As A Hobby At All?
There are some minor and insignificant drawbacks that can be easily mitigated. They are:
- High cost of some books
Books being pricey, but you can’t stop buying them? Try bookcrossing or exchanging books with friends. And then there are libraries, of course.
- Space books occupy
Is your bookshelf creaking under the weight of books? And there’s no more place under your bed? Electronic books can save so much space!
- The time you spend reading
Does it take you too much time to read a book? You should learn the secret to “power reading” then.
- The dark side of reading
You might want to know the difference between a healthy bibliophile, a book addict, and a lit junkie and that book abuse may destroy your reality or make you totally escape it.
But to avoid this type of escapism, you can always set reasonable reading goals, keep to reading guides and book lists, or indulge in book communities.
Let’s Keep It A Hobby Or Passion Then, Shall We?
There you go – we’ve answered some of your questions about reading being a hobby-habit-routine-obsession thing.
But that wasn’t enough for your sagacious and curious mind.
So you galloped to discover why it may be good to read, and we proved the worthiness of reading.
In the end, we showed you some inconsiderable drawbacks.
Don’t ever fear any pitfalls of your reading hobby because here, at Booklyst, we taught you how to alleviate them and now can help you find the best book to read.
Do you treat reading as a pastime, addiction, or anything else?
What are your reading habits? Share with us in the comments section 😉