OverDrive shared one of Vinod Sharma’s “tricks” for reading more books: listening to audiobooks. This is fine, so far as it goes (although, personally, I can’t do it), but listening is not reading. If you’ve listened to a book, you’ve not read it.

We need to destigmatize saying, “I listened to a great book last month.” We need to not redefine the meaning of the word “read”.

As to Sharma’s other suggestions, what I don’t get, really, is this weird fetishization of reading metrics. It’s one thing to want to read more, to wish you had more time for it but not have figured out how to make that happen, and to make use of tips that might help you make that sort of time.

The goal, however, should be enjoying books, not racking up the numbers. Personally, I’m pretty confounded by the fact that after four years of making my Goodreads Challenge goals of 30-35 books, this year somehow I’ve already managed to read fifty-two, but it won’t be a disappointment if I’m back down to 30 books next year.

Sharma’s tips are pretty good tips, in and of themselves, but punctuating them with a quote from, of all people, management consultant Peter Drucker (“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it and you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”) is such a bad taste to leave in the mouths of anyone looking for ways to enjoy more books.

Fetishizing numbers, and fetishizing the word “reading” rather than letting people just say they listened to a great book recently, is not the way to go. Enjoyment is the only metric that matters.

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