Is reading a hobby?

Settle a debate for me

1 to 20 of 41 messages
10/03/2013 at 10:37

A friend of mine insists that reading cannot be a hobby.  He thinks it is something you do when you can't think of anything else to do, in the same way that some people plonk themselves down in front of mindless TV.  His arguement is that a hobby is something you make time for, not something that you do when you have time.

I think that reading can be used in that way but that it can also be considered a hobby, especially if you follow a specific subject matter and actively seek out new books in that field.

Do you read?  Is it a hobby for you or something you do to help you fall asleep at night?

10/03/2013 at 10:45

Reading is most def a hobby.

I read, I enjoy reading, it's not just something I do to fill in time, certainly not something to be done when you can't think of anything else to do.

I don't see it as any different to running or knitting or building a motorcycle.

Except perhaps you don't get quite so dirty as you would building a bike.

Edited: 10/03/2013 at 10:46
10/03/2013 at 11:31

Those who find reading uncomfortable/tiresome for any reason and would rather not read I think would not consider reading a hobby.

Those to whom reading comes quite naturally and are equally comfortable reading technical literature, say for work purposes or study, and reading for pleasure I think would be happy to consider reading a hobby or pastime. 

I think your "friend" would be someone who finds reading a chore. Probably loses concentration when reading and misses facts or sense in what has been read.

I think most good readers' are brought up with books either in the family or school and have been allowed to read in a relaxed manner and not under duress.

10/03/2013 at 11:42

Well I'm not sure about all of his opinion, but yes, I read when I have time even though I love it, I don't make time for it. But it's still a hobby.

10/03/2013 at 11:44

He admits to reading himself and enjoys it, but doesn't consider it a hobby.

He also said that a candidate who put reading down on a CV would have to be particularly brilliant in other areas to get any job he was interviewing them for.

I think his point was that anyone can claim to like reading and a lot of people do it.  But often they do it because they have a lack of imagination or motivation to do anything different.  Just like those of us who watch car crash TV.  In this situation then it cannot be considered a hobby.

If you are the sort of person who actively makes time to read a book, in the same way as some of us put time aside to go running or whatever, then you could consider that a hobby.  In his opinion very very few people do that.

10/03/2013 at 11:51

Yes, reading on CV is like "listening to Classic FM".  Kiss of death

 

Ye Olde Dragon    pirate
10/03/2013 at 11:54

I'm not sure that I put time aside to read as such. I don't see it as a hobby more a way of life. There are the 'must read' items, such as policy, research, text books etc, which is work. Then I have my fiction/biography/leisuretime reading, usually when having food or filling in dead time.

Then I 'read' when driving or running through my audiobooks. 

This means that I have two or even three books on the go at any given time.

I wouldn't put reading as a hobby on a CV, I sort of get what SuperCaz's friend is saying. I would expect that people read something whether fiction or maintanence manuals as part of life, not as a separate hobby if they were applying for a job.

10/03/2013 at 11:59

Personally I love reading but I don't tend to do much any more.  That's because this house isn't set out right. The lighting is wrong and the chairs aren't comfy enough.  Oh how I can't wait to get a proper place I can call home and get back into my old routines and the things I love.

I don't consider reading to be a hobby for me, but I think it can be a hobby for some people.  Once upon a time I think I would have called it a hobby.

10/03/2013 at 12:29
I think reading is an imperative more than a hobby. Books can give more to you than building a bridge out of matchsticks or *ahem* running yet another 5km race.

IMHO.
10/03/2013 at 12:52
I love reading but I see it more as such a fundamental part of my daily life that it isn't really a hobby. It's more like eating, pleasurable but essential.
10/03/2013 at 12:56

+1 with JB

Reading for me is more than a hobby.

seren nos    pirate
10/03/2013 at 13:41
Martenkay wrote (see)

Those who find reading uncomfortable/tiresome for any reason and would rather not read I think would not consider reading a hobby.

Those to whom reading comes quite naturally and are equally comfortable reading technical literature, say for work purposes or study, and reading for pleasure I think would be happy to consider reading a hobby or pastime. 

I think your "friend" would be someone who finds reading a chore. Probably loses concentration when reading and misses facts or sense in what has been read.

I think most good readers' are brought up with books either in the family or school and have been allowed to read in a relaxed manner and not under duress.

I don't agree with your last sentence.....I think that people are born with a love of reading which can be nurtured or hindered by upbringing.....same as with maths or sport......

In many families like moine where brothers and sisters have the same access to books in the house and the same school......you will get those who devour books and those who only pick one up when they have to.....and other siblings somewhere in between

10/03/2013 at 13:42

What xine said.

I don't consider reading to be a hobby, it's part of life - just like eating!  Something I relish, make time for, look forward to and take time over.

Plenty of people don't care about what they eat, either, though.

I find the idea that your hobbies would be on your CV, and taken into consideration by potential employers quite odd.

Surely your experience, expertise and knowledge of things related to the job are what's relevant?

Whether you enjoy knitting, running or taxidermy are completely irrelevant, surely?

10/03/2013 at 13:54

i read a lot. i don't know if it's a hobby or not.

10/03/2013 at 13:59

I find the idea of putting hobbies on a CV quite bizarre but apparently a lot of people do it.  The only time I would think it appropriate is if you were drawing on your transferable skills to back up your application.  This might be appropriate if you helped to run a youth club as a hobby and the job was asking you to work with young people, for example.

When I said this to my friend he thought I was agreeing with him.  His view was that if someone thinks that reading is going to help them to get the job then their mind is not the sort of mind that would be suitable for the job. Hmmm

10/03/2013 at 14:08

I'm an academic so reading is my job.

It's also a hobby, though. And something I do when I'm filling in time. Mostly different kinds of books but there is overlap.

But I agree with you, Caz, that you shouldn't put hobbies on your CV unless they are supposed to demonstrate something about your suitability for the job. If someone had a special section on their CV for hobbies and filled it with stuff as vague and irrelevant as 'reading' or 'spending time with friends', I would assume they didn't know what CVs were for.

But having said that, I once helped a younger relative apply for a programming job (which he got). I had to explain that his CV needed to match the job spec, and then made him transform the 'other interests' section into a section about how being in a band meant he had all this knowledge of software, social networks etc. that the company was looking for, but which hadn't been covered in his degree, so we couldn't put it in the qualifications section.

Edited: 10/03/2013 at 14:09
10/03/2013 at 14:41

If it for a job application, then they are inviting further questions, so ask - what do you read?  If the answer is Stig Larsson/Harry Potter/Daily Mail, then just cross them off.

10/03/2013 at 15:08
seren nos wrote (see)
Martenkay wrote (see)

Those who find reading uncomfortable/tiresome for any reason and would rather not read I think would not consider reading a hobby.

Those to whom reading comes quite naturally and are equally comfortable reading technical literature, say for work purposes or study, and reading for pleasure I think would be happy to consider reading a hobby or pastime. 

I think your "friend" would be someone who finds reading a chore. Probably loses concentration when reading and misses facts or sense in what has been read.

I think most good readers' are brought up with books either in the family or school and have been allowed to read in a relaxed manner and not under duress.

I don't agree with your last sentence.....I think that people are born with a love of reading which can be nurtured or hindered by upbringing.....same as with maths or sport......

In many families like moine where brothers and sisters have the same access to books in the house and the same school......you will get those who devour books and those who only pick one up when they have to.....and other siblings somewhere in between


Hi seren nos, if you read my last paragraph again you will see that I did not write that all good readers'. My view being that the likelihood of anyone being a good reader (if at all) will probably be nurtured in childhood, rather than say picked up in middle age.

I have never seen an application form asking about "hobbies" but I have seen "pastimes" or something like a brief narrative of "what do you do in your spare time". I think employers' want to feel that they have a well rounded individual applying for work - all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

I agree that 'reading' in a general sense (romantic fiction, crime fiction etc) is not impressive but can be if explained as private studying, history of art, Spanish culture, stage and screen etc. 

kittenkat    pirate
10/03/2013 at 15:21

I grew up in a literary family where books were much loved and treated with the greatest respect. My Dad (before his untimely death) was a published poet, my mum and I have had poetry published too. I was indeed named after the female characters in Wuthering Heights and Vanity Fair.

I've gone through life in fits and starts with reading, i would say reading for pleasure is a hobby, but there are other times you read and it's for information. So you could argue one way or the other quite articulatly.

I don't promote reading to my girls, but we always have books around on many different subjects. Both my girls, especially my 10 yr old read a lot. For me as a child reading was the way to completely unlock the imagination, which is why films are always a disappointment if you've read the book first!

Edited: 10/03/2013 at 15:22
10/03/2013 at 15:28

KK I am sure I have never seen a film and thought it better than the book! The Directors' imagination versus mine.

Actually I wonder how many Directors' would say that they really thought their film was better than their reading of the book.

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