Is Reading a Hobby? (Just a Habit, Passion…?)

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Reading tends to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. When I talk about my obsessions and how I spend my free time, I always include reading as one of the many activities I like to do. But is reading a hobby, or is it used for other purposes?

Reading is a hobby because it’s typically done during leisure time for entertainment purposes. However, it can gradually become a habit through frequent repetition. Others even consider it a passion while it can also be a pastime for some. But reading can also be used for work purposes.

Are you still puzzled? Read on as I’ll be discussing why reading is often considered a hobby. I’ll also explain in detail instances where reading may go beyond being just a hobby and discuss some of the steps you can take to turn it into an everyday activity. 

Reading as a Hobby

To understand why reading is a hobby, you need to know what a hobby is. Generally speaking, a hobby is a regular activity done mostly during free time for pleasure. It helps reduce or eradicate boredom by giving people something to do whenever they find nothing to fill their time. 

Plus, a hobby gives you a venture that you can always get excited about and look forward to. It can involve various activities, such as playing video games, drawing, and fishing. 

So, why is it considered a hobby?

Since you can read books anytime and anywhere you want during your leisure time, reading can be considered a hobby. You get to choose books and journals that you enjoy reading. As such, you may decide to skim periodicals or even browse your smartphone for your favorite novel and read it to kill time. 

For instance, I always resort to reading books to help me fall asleep whenever I can’t sleep. 

I keep Eckhart Tolle’s ”The Power of Now” by my bed so that anytime I have trouble sleeping, I start going through the pages. This helps me clear my thoughts, deepen my breathing, and transition into a meditative state.

This makes reading my hobby as it is an antidote to my restless mind whenever sleep is elusive.

Check out the Power of Now on Amazon if you also need help drifting off. If you love reading just as much as I do, you’ll be counting down the minutes until you can get back to reading it. 

When Reading Is Not a Hobby

Here are scenarios proving that reading is not a hobby:

  • When it’s a habit.
  • When it’s a passion.
  • When it’s a pastime.

Let’s go through them in detail.

Reading as a Habit

A habit is generally an unconscious pattern performed regularly. Once you get used to doing a specific thing over and over, it becomes pretty challenging to break away from it. Unlike hobbies, habits aren’t activities that you do necessary for pleasure. 

Instead, these are things that become a pattern through frequent repetition. Some examples of habits include smoking after a meal, regular exercise, and brushing your teeth at a particular time. So, if you find that you can’t do certain things, such as go to bed without reading, you’ve developed a reading habit. 

Also, reading at specific times each day perfectly fits the definition of “habit.”

Reading as a Passion

Passion is usually defined as a strong and barely controllable feeling of love and enthusiasm. 

As a reader, you can develop a strong love for reading, such that you get enthusiastic about reading books, discovering new ones, and talking about them.

As reading cultivates rich imaginations, I often find myself daydreaming about the books I’ve read and forget nearly everything else I have to do. If you’re anything like me and you can’t wait to talk about the books you’ve read with your friends, then it can be said that you’ve developed a passion for reading. 

Reading as a Pastime

The word “pastime” can be characterized by activities that occupy your spare time pleasantly.

As such, reading can be considered just a pastime. Not every person reads books as a habit, is passionate about reading, or even thinks of it as a hobby. Such people will read when traveling, sitting in a waiting room, or having a snack to help them enjoyably pass the time.

Verdict: Reading Is Both a Hobby and Not a Hobby

If you read for fun, typically during your free time, it’s a hobby. However, if you make reading books a regular activity, at a specific time of the day, without which your day won’t be complete, then it’s a habit. 

You can also look at it from a hierarchical point of view. 

  1. Reading can progressively move from simply being a hobby, where you love reading. 
  2. Then it moves to be a habit where you start doing it regularly. 
  3. Then finally, it moves to a passion where you develop a strong feeling of enthusiasm for it.

With the many benefits that come with reading, I highly recommend you make it a habit or even a passion. 

The Love Of Reading Is Not Weird

In today’s world, most people misperceive that reading is weird, odd, or undesirable. For some, reading a book is boring and brought about by academic pressure. 

However, the love of reading is not weird, as many people engage in this hobby. Stephen King, for instance, reads up to 80 books per year. So, as long as you’re enjoying what you read, feel free to embrace this quality about yourself. 

How To Make Reading a Hobby

The habit of reading books has been on a decline. 

While most people claim that they want to develop a daily reading habit, they’re often unable to do so due to various factors such as lack of time. I was once a culprit at some point in my life, but fortunately, these simple steps helped me cultivate a consistent reading habit.

  1. Make reading a routine.
  2. Utilize your local library plus ebooks.
  3. Broaden your taste to discover more.

Let’s take a closer look at these steps.

1. Make Reading a Routine

In order to create a consistent reading pattern, you need to set out a particular number of pages each day. This can be as minimum as you want. 

For instance, if you have a busy schedule, you can set aside about 10-20 pages per day. This will help you stay focused as you anticipate accomplishing your daily goal of reading a particular number of pages.

2. Utilize Your Local Library Plus Ebooks

Going to your local library gives you free access to various books and authors. You get to discover more styles and read more books at no expense. Libraries can also help you get a reading partner or join a book club, allowing you to discuss things you learned and other thoughts. 

That way, you’ll stay focused and encouraged towards your reading goals. If you don’t like public gatherings, you can resort to reading ebooks from the comfort of your home or workplace. Plus, you can find free ebooks that are in the public domain from over 100 years ago that you might find fascinating.

Also, with the current ban on certain books, you can find those on these sites and read them for yourself. 

3. Broaden Your Taste To Discover More

Perhaps you like crime fiction novels, and if it’s not a Stephen King book, you won’t read it, let alone give it a second glance. Well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

After all, reading should be for pleasure, save for the time you read for work or school. 

However, there’s a whole new world of exciting and inspiring literature out there that can help you develop a consistent reading pattern. So, always keep a variety of books at hand that will help you explore different genres and give you an easy time finding the right ones for your venture.

Check out this YouTube video for more information on making reading a hobby.


Overall, reading is one of the best qualities you can possess. To turn it into an everyday activity, you must first examine your current reading habits:

  • How often do you read? 
  • Do you start with a bang and then stop at some point? 
  • Do you just read randomly or take time to plan your reading?

After analyzing your habits, you can now start developing a reading culture by setting up reading goals, investing in tools that encourage reading, finding accountable partners, and being hungry to discover more and grow beyond your comfort zone.

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