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Well-Read; Avid Reader

Can anyone call themselves well-read? I honestly think they can’t. Not unless they’re in their eighties. Me, I’m still in my twenties, so I really can’t call myself well-read. But can anyone?

What constitutes someone well-read? For me it’s probably a mixture of things from reading the classics to modern-day best-sellers to non-fiction including topics ranging from science to medicine, politics to history, mythology to even computing. Probably to call yourself well-read it’s a combination of reading a lot and reading varied topics and genres. And that’s probably not limited to just reading books but reading newspapers, magazines, and periodicals and journals too.

But how can anyone read this much in lifetime, as well as well….have a life. A job, family, friends….all get in the way of trying to be well-read. So should you be more selective in what you read, maybe covering all the topics but reading a bit of everything rather than a lot. But then again, life’s too short isn’t it? Why would you want to read about science, for example, if you haven’t got the foggiest idea what the author is going on about and if you really don’t enjoy it. Surely that’s wasting your valuable…and most definitely finite time.

But you personally, may read a bit of everything, you may be one of those people who are genuinely interested in reading about anything and everything. I envy you that. I also envy your time.

So is it better to be well-read or an avid reader?

Being an avid reader. What does this mean? Someone at work asked me that. I didn’t really give them an answer. It might be a title that someone else has to give to you. I answered, rather eloquently, I might add, “Erm….well…er…I don’t know really….I’ve always got a book on the go.”

What was my hesitation I wonder to admit that yes I am an avid reader?! Maybe because it’s a subjective title, like being well-read, it depends on the person’s perspective. I don’t think it can be judged on how many books you read in a year, in a month. Or how fast you read. You may take a month to read a book in the same time it takes for someone to read it in a week, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not an avid reader too.

You may read in fits and starts. I go through periods when I can’t stop reading, when the pages of book after book fly through my fingers and then others when nothing really catches my eye or that I can’t get my teeth into. But that doesn’t make me less of an avid reader surely?

Well-read or avid reader? So what do these even mean? Can you be one? Can you be both?

One comment on “Well-Read; Avid Reader

  1. I agree that “well read” and “avid reader” are subjective terms. I read all day, every day because of my business (freelance editor), but I always have a huge stack (both physical and virtual) of things I want to read that I may never get to. I think the fun is in being an “avid reader” in the pursuit of being “well read,” and from your description, I’d say that’s what you are!

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