Can reading be considered a hobby? It is a question many have asked and below we break this question down and let you know why we believe it absolutely can be!
We all know that reading is one of the most fundamental skills we can acquire. Proven to enhance our cognitive, communication and emotional skills (among many others), the list of why we are taught to read from a young age and encouraged to continue appears endless. Is reading a hobby? Loudly YES!!
Reading as a hobby – the debate
For a long time now, people have gone back and forth with their opinions as to whether or not reading can be considered a hobby. As a skill we learn from a young age and use almost daily without thinking, may people akin reading to breathing. A skill we use effortlessly once learnt. A necessity. For this reason they argue how can something we do almost automatically be considered a hobby?
To answer the question, we first need to first look at what the definition of a hobby is, and determine from that if reading can safely fit into that category.
What is the definition of a hobby?
So what is the definition of a hobby? A quick search through various dictionaries provided us with the following answers.
- “An activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working” – Oxford English Dictionary.
- “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation” – Merrium-Webster dictionary.
- “An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation” – Dictionary.com.
When researching what the definition of a hobby we also came across the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition which, similar to the others, stated “an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working.” However, the example it gave beneath this went a long way towards answering our question.
The example given reads: “Sonya’s hobbies include travelling, sailing, and reading fiction.”
Why reading can be considered a hobby for some people
Reading is not something everyone enjoys. For some people, picking up a book and reading it in their spare time is not something that even remotely interests them. I would know. As an avid reader and someone who would say reading is a hobby of mine, I also know others who would not be able to say that.
Take my children, for instance. Whilst they are all quite studious and read actively and happily for their school and studies, only one would say she reads as a hobby. The difference is that to be considered a hobby, it needs to be an activity you choose to pursue for pleasure and relaxation outside of school or work. HUGE tick for reading!
For my eldest daughter and me, there is no better way to spend our downtime than to work through a pile of novels. In our busy lives, we actively try to find time to do this, and it brings us both great pleasure when we do.
It’s not always about discovering a new story, either. Quite often, it is the act of reading, of sitting down to relax and getting lost in a good book, that is the goal. Picking up and re-reading old favourites brings just as much pleasure as devouring the latest bestseller.
And then there are book clubs! For those who love to read as a hobby, joining others with a similar interest regularly to dissect and discuss a book collectively and share ones they have been reading too is something they enjoy immensely.
For me, and so many others, reading ticks every one of the definition boxes for being a hobby. It is done in our spare time as a way to relax and because, quite simply, we love it.
If you are reading this to convince yourself or your parent that reading is a hobby, we hope we have given you enough logical reasoning to justify your literary past time.
If your child enjoys reading as a hobby, you might also be interested in the following: