I heard something on the Reading Glasses podcast recently that I don’t totally agree with. I think Brea said it but Mallory agreed with it but it was that reading one book in a year makes you a reader.
I’ve been kayaking a few times on a relatively calm lake. Because I went one time last year, does that make me a kayaker? Does watching a dog for a week make you a pet owner? Does playing in one company softball game make you athletic?
I had a friend who proudly never wore makeup. She wore a lipstick for her wedding courtesy of the makeup artist. Anytime someone on social brings up makeup, especially lipstick, she comments like she’s an authority on the matter.
Being a reader is integral to a lot of our identities. There is no score to keep and rules to follow. Do read magazines, newspapers, or other articles? Do you enjoy short stories or fanfic? How about blogs or creative writing forums? Those contribute to being a reader.
I had several library holds come in at once so I’m going to have to read like crazy since I can’t renew any of them. Saying I’m in the same category as someone who read one book in a year felt like it cheapened what being a reader means to me. It didn’t respect the time and effort that goes in to being part of the bookish community.
I blog and do a lot of bookstagram. I watch a lot of booktube and actively support my local library. There’s a distinction between being a reader and someone who read a book. I want the bookish community to remain inclusive but if we include everybody, including folks who may not want the label, it stops being special.