Reading As A Hobby

I was reading an article about hobbies and I really like this quote:

Our hobbies tell a great deal about us and our world: about how we choose to present our lives to others; about the burdensome, expectation-freighted nature of free time; about our slippery relationship with the exigencies of productivity in late-capitalist society. Hobbies are a corner of our existence over which we have the impression of control, a sphere in which we feel we can achieve a kind of mastery usually denied to us in our wider personal and professional lives. In All the Names, José Saramago says that hobbyists act out of “metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world.”

But the article also goes on to say that the joyous part of hobbies is that you don’t need to take them so seriously to find enjoyment from them. They are essentially the adult’s equivalent of play so there’s no need to become an expert or treat it as work because it essentially takes the fun from them and there’s something so deliciously rebellious about being unproductive in a world that is continually demanding us to be somebody.

How does this relate to reading?

Reading constitutes different things to different people. For some, it’s to learn; for others, it’s an escapism. But whatever it’s for, I don’t there’s any need to get super technical or join book clubs and discuss the deeper meaning behind it. I love that reading can be used to just switch out from the rest of the world.

It’s pretty wordy but you can find the article “If you want to be a better person, find something to do outside of work” below at Quartz:


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