Here’s Why We Think Reading Should be an Olympic Sport

Here’s Why We Think Reading Should be an Olympic Sport

We’re really strong

Books are heavy you guys. And yes, some of us are smart (smug) and use an eReader, but personally we’re guilty of stuffing as many books as we can into our suitcase and then a couple into our hand luggage for the journey too. You’ll always spot a reader at the airport as the one lugging an exceptionally heavy case while their arms strain under the weight of a shoulder bag bulging with books. In fact, did you know that the popular phrase “she has the biceps of a reader” was first coined in an airport in the UK? True story.

We can sprint

We’ve all been there. There’s a book that you’ve been desperately waiting to be released for months, you and your reading friends all rush out to buy it on publication day, and then it’s a race to see who can finish it first, and most importantly who can finish it before the inevitable spoilers come out; “Ooh have you got to chapter 10 yet? You won’t believe it…”! We think readers could give Usain Bolt a run for his money when it comes to sprinting to that last chapter.

We can finish a marathon

While a weekend read is always fun, it takes true stamina and motivation to take on those hefty books that seem to take up twice the space on your bookshelf. That doesn’t mean we enjoy them any less, but it does mean reading a few hours every night when you probably should be asleep, and it does mean squeezing in chapters at every given opportunity (on the bus, in the bath, while brushing your teeth…). It takes Olympian dedication to get to the last page but it’s all worthwhile in the end.

We can wrestle

For the most part we like to think that the reading community is a friendly, patient and kind bunch; incapable of hurting a fly. But this is simply not the case when it comes to book release day. If we’ve had to wait a whole year to get our hands on the next book from our favourite author, then we’re not above wrestling anyone who gets in our way when we head into town to buy it. And if there’s a crowd blocking the shelf we need to get to then unfortunately it’s going to get messy.

We’re secret gymnasts

Readers often find themselves in the most weird and wonderful positions whilst enjoying a good book, whether it’s finding your feet higher up than your head while curled up in a cosy chair, hanging upside down off the side of the bed with the book in the air above your face or standing on the bus with a bag tucked under your arm and a book held precariously in the air to avoid fellow passengers. Put a book in our hands and we bet we could give them something to think about on the rings.

We can take on a triathalon

There always seems to be that one series that comes out of nowhere. You’ve heard nothing about it, and then all of a sudden all your friends are freaking out because book three is about to be released. Cue a long, sleep-deprived week playing catch up as you make your way through the series in time to obsess over the latest book with your friends. It takes commitment, time-management and hopefully a little less chafing, but every good reader will get there in the end.

We can vault with perfect form

As the infinite wisdom of internet memes has taught us; haters gonna hate. Some readers will look for any little reason to hate on a book, sometimes even before they’ve read it, and frankly we don’t have time for it. And so when someone rolls her eyes and tuts because our favourite author is releasing book seven in the series (“how long can she drag this thing out for”), we’ve perfected our technique for vaulting such nonsense and sticking a perfect landing to enjoy book seven and any others to follow.

We’ve got rhythm

There are some moments in a book that make you feel feels that can only be expressed through dance. Perhaps the characters you’ve been shipping all series finally get together. Or maybe the baddie that has had you seething since page one finally gets their comeuppance (and it’s delicious). Some readers will go for a quick happy shuffle, others will opt for some leg kicks, some will go for the classic Carlton dance. It’s a personal choice. But we definitely think all our celebratory dancing makes us eligible for the Olympics.

We can take on an opponent

Over the years we’ve developed a number of techniques for thwarting spoilers which we’re pretty sure would qualify us for judo, taekwondo, boxing and quite possibly archery. Spoiler-fiends are the ultimate opponent and we’ve trained long and hard to ensure we’re ready to combat their heinous tricks. There’s just nothing quite like a single-handed back throw to distract someone mid-spoiler…

We know the importance of food

Many Olympians adopt a very strict eating regime to prepare their bodies for their sports; something that readers know all too well. Every experienced reader has learned the hard way that attempting to practise your craft without sufficient food and drink is not going to end well. Personally, we find we achieve our best performance with a big cup of tea and a stack of our favourite biscuits for dunking.

What skills could you bring to the sport of Olympic reading? Let us know in the comments box below.

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