Reading Isn’t A Chore or “Something to Do”
Blake Powell

“ I love to read like I love to write. But without my daily goal of “reading 20 pages” or “writing 1000 words” I easily lose the motivation to do either.”

I can’t see how you need to set a goal to do something pleasurable. Writing - for some - can take planning and motivation, but reading - no. I don’t need motivating, but when editing a boring document, say an annual report for a Government Department, I can lack the enthusiasm that can be present in more interesting material.

“I also love to read. I’ve read 78 books this year.”

I have no awareness of how how many I have read this year - I don’t keep count. I would guess at around three hundred, about twenty of them for structural editing, the rest for personal pleasure. My only worry is running out of interesting books.

“ And setting a goal for anything is worthy, wouldn't you say?”

Yes, I set lots of goals. Usually beating my time at various sports, finishing a renovation, (I’m converting our boathouse into a studio) winning a photography prize, learning a new language. Goals for things like that I have no problem with. People who have goals like “write five thousand words per day” I cannot understand. It isn't the total, that means nothing, it is content. It is like a Pastry cook saying “I must use sixteen pounds of flour today” rather than “I must make some really good pastries today”.

“ It’s about tricking yourself to do the work”

I can’t trick myself, I know myself too well to be fooled. If I have work — I do it, (or delegate it).

“And reading helps us do that, to be better and smarter and more capable one page at a time.”

Well, it cannot make you smarter, but it can make you more aware and proficient. I agree that reading is vital to understanding literature, but not that it needs to be regulated by time.

Still, if you feel that it is necessary and it works for you, then keep right on doing it. I’m not saying that it is wrong, just that I cannot understand the need for it. It puzzles me.

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