Booking Through Thursday: Discuss!

October 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 13 Comments

Here is my question to readers, in response to this week’s Booking Through Thursday:

Do you ever feel competitive toward other readers?

I find that whenever I go anywhere and see someone with a book, I will crane my neck like a fool trying to get a glimpse of the title.  If I’ve already read it – and often I have! – I think, “Yes!”  If I haven’t, and it’s something I’m interested in, I’ll feel this impulse to race off and get a copy right away.

I’m in the 250 book challenge on LibraryThing, and there’s another member who has read an unusually high concentration of classics and must-reads.  I’m terribly jealous and I get a real thrill whenever I notice he’s just finished something I read in the past.  It’s unlikely I’ll ever in my lifetime get through everything he’s read, so I prize the rare occasions when I’ve “beat him” to something.

We can take it as a given that we read for enjoyment, to learn new things, to see the world through a new perspective, or even just to escape the petty annoyances of life.  That being said, do we also read to prove a point?


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  1. I joined a 100+ reading challenge (to read 100 books or more in 2009) and I can’t say that I’ll do it again. I appreciate the challenge, but I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the pressure. I lead a book group at work and am a member of two others, plus I have to stay abreast of new and in demand books at work (public librarian) so between the challenge and the reading obligations, I’m feeling a bit burned out.

    250? You are a champion!

    • 250? I completed that in mid-July. I’m actually past 350 right now. But thank you!

  2. You know, I have read 115 books so far this year – and last year, just 58. Before I began book blogging I wasn’t a “competetive reader,” but I’ve become one this year. I entered a few challenges, and feel a lot more pressure than I ever did before. Although I’ll probably always keep up with my reading stats, next year I’m going to try to be less concerned with numbers and more concerned with reading for enjoyment. I was a happier reader before I became competetive with other readers and bloggers.

    Congratulations on getting 350 so far! I hope you make your goal of 500 this year 🙂

  3. o.o 350 books? I might faint. I’ve read about 100 so far this year, which to me is a huge honking lot. I’ve never felt like a competitive reader, though; I just read what I like and a lot of it. In fact, I’d say I’m more of a social reader in that I love to recommend books and get recommendations from other people.

  4. I crane my neck to see what others are reading on the bus or other public places, too. But it’s not to see if it’s a book I’ve read- it’s to see if it’s a new one that I might add to my TBR.

  5. I will definitely crane my neck to see what people are reading as well, and it’s one of the things I love about reading book blogs. I’m not very competitive when it comes to books, for the most part, which is probably why I fail so miserably at challenges. I am too whimsical to stick to a list. I admit, though, I am competitive about the *type* of books I read. If someone tells me she reads a lot, and I find out she’s reading mostly trashy romance or something, then I’ll tell myself that does not count and feel a bit smug. Not very nice of me.

    And I am going to go on the record and say I don’t like it much when book bloggers seem to be trying to outdo each other in their reviews, especially when things get snarky.

  6. I agree with Priscilla’s comment.

  7. I am TOTALLY competitive when it comes to reading. I get really jealous of my sister, because she can read so much faster than I can. When I heard she was trying for the 1,001 books you must read before you die challenge, I was so mad – I knew I had a head start, but she could easily finish probably 100-150 books/year, whereas it’s a good year if I can get to 50. I was all ready to loan her my copies of books off the list that I knew she would hate just so I could maintain my comfortable lead. However, she does not have the stick-to-it-iveness that is required for that kind of stuff, and she quickly gave up. YAY!

    • That is hilarious! “Try this, I’m sure you’ll hate it.”

  8. Outside of my husband, mom and best friend, I don’t have a ton of readers in my life. Oh, I know people who read a book from time to time, but not always reading folks like myself. So, I’m not competitive in real life.

    As for what I read, I am pretty balanced. Classics, “important” books, trashy romance, best sellers, obscure novels no one has heard of.

    I am jealous, not competitive with, book bloggers who have more reading time then I do. So unfair.

    • You’re the first person I’ve met who will admit to reading “trashy romance”! Good for you. It’s good to read a little of everything.

  9. Re: checking out what strangers are reading – this is a fun blog:

  10. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

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