Mark Llobrera

The Cut: “Reading is a Competition Now”

Jess Thomson, writing about the downside of tracking her reading:

One feature of Goodreads and other apps like it is that they are social: You can see your friends’ reading activity. This can be a lovely way to share recommendations with friends, make sure everyone knows how cultured you are, and to stalk the reading habits of ex-boyfriends. While this can motivate you to commit and find the time to read, it can also exacerbate the dreaded feeling of “not doing enough” of your favorite hobby and not having the perfect curated bookshelf of intelligent reads.

I just looked back at my own reading from 2021, and I feel like I’m trying to find this balance myself. I like having a record of my reading, but I also don’t want it to create additional pressure nor do I want it reduced to social media fodder.