Fact: I love reading.
Second fact: I really don’t love sports.
So why not compare the two? Because OBVIOUSLY THEY’RE SUPER ALIKE.
Am I crazy?
(Okay, maybe slightly.)
LET ME EXPLAIN.
In books, in movies, everywhere, we’ve always been shown the two “opposite” groups: the bookworms and the nerds, vs. the jocks, the athletes. And I find it SO annoying how the nerds are always portrayed as being so different, or feeling less than, the more athletic/sporty group of people????
Personally, sure, yes, I’m a bookworm with little interest in sports. But that doesn’t mean I consider myself less than people who play sports, or that I’m not happy being a bookworm? (How can you not be happy being a bookworm tho.) I’m happy being a bookworm! But there are others who like books, and who also like sports! And that’s fine too! It’s not mutually exclusive!!
Wow, I just went on a mini-rant there, but you get the point! Tons and tons of tropes and stereotypes make nerds and sports so incompatible, such a foreign thought and it just frustrates me. IMMENSELY.
So in order to demolish the idea that sports people and books people are so different*, I’ve decided to compose a list of ways reading is like watching/playing/training for sports! (Because watching/playing/training are all the same. Obviously.**)
*Okay, maybe they are a teensy bit different. A teensy bit. BUT SHH LET ME PROVE A POINT.
1. Getting all nervous/sweaty/excited/scared during a book –> like during a game
I just finished the second book in the Red Rising series, okay. I NEARLY DIED. (Or maybe I am dead and this is my ghost writing???) The way I was sweating, you’d think I was actually the one having to deal with everything going on in there?!
Honestly, BOOKS ARE SO FREAKING NERVE-WRACKING. The characters are constantly either a) making life-threatening decisions, b) making stupid decisions, or c) making decisions that get them injured and IT’S SO STRESSFUL and you want to murder them while baking them cake and shielding them like a mother dragon. Okay? Okay.
Then they’re also occasionally super geniuses making you nearly gnaw the book because of how excited you are for them to kick the enemy’s butt. You know. Either one.
Now on to the sports side and you see there’s not much difference??? (I’d assume, anyway.)
For anyone passionate about sports, I bet when you’re watching a game you get just as stressed, nervous as you watch in anticipation what will happen next with the game. (Although books are a lot more stressful tbh because there is SO MUCH MORE which can go wrong ahem such as death, and you know, the end of the world. No biggie. But yes, go on stressing about a ball going into the net.)*
Will they get the basket? Will they win?
Who cares Will you ever stop finishing your popcorn in 5 minutes? (I don’t care, I don’t care, and nope.)
*Darnit my bias is showing. I’M SORRY. (I’m not sorry.)
PLAYING a game definitely raises the stakes higher, though! If you play any sort of sport, I COMMEND YOU because it seems so stressful??! But also I’m sure it’s exciting too!! Like reading a book, where you can be crying one second in pain and screeching in happiness the next. Much like playing a game, yes?
(I legit have no idea but whatever.)
2. Cheering for your favourite character –> Cheering for your favourite player/team
When I adore a character, you can bet allll your money (but keep some for books, obviously) that I will stand by them like my life depends on it!! Take: Hermione, Kell, Lila, Rhy, the DREGS AHHH, Simon… And when you read a book where you love the characters, obviously you’re cheering for them?! One of the absolute best parts of reading is how attached you can get to the wonderful wonderful characters out there.
Like I honestly get SO HYPED when my precious children do things right and are badasses and jsaidjoiajfojefioewf it’s just the greatest, honestly. And I WILL fight anyone who goes against them, okay.
I’m going to ASSUME it’s similar to how people stan their favourite players?? Because if you’re as passionate about the sport as I am about books, then of course those players are like the characters we read about, and as they’re off running about* scoring goals, passing finish lines, and being overall very fabulous, it’s always great to cheer them on! :)))
Not to mention I’ve met some INTENSE sports fans, okay. Those fans are NOT joking around when they defend their teams/players. (Okay I relate… but with book characters.)
*I say running, but I also mean any sports that don’t necessarily need running like swimming, or volleyball, etc. Just a note!
3. Stupid life interrupting your reading –> Stupid advertisements in between games
Omg this is so real it’s not even funny.
The amount of times I’ve had to sacrifice reading a book because of school (ugh), work (ugh), because LIFE (ughghhh) is INFINITE. And I always have to stop just as I get to the interesting part (because of course)?? Apparently I cannot just hole myself in my room and do nothing but eat books and chocolate. Sadly.
You’re* in the middle of a battle! Between you and your his enemy! And the enemy comes forward with a knife and they’re talking about how painfully they’ll kill you and—
Whelp, you gotta go now because reality’s calling! HOW FUN.
*dies from suspense*
*Well, the main character. Fortunately. Or else you might die.
I don’t think it’s quite the same when watching a game with advertisements? They usually come in during breaks, right? BUT STILL. How dare someone interrupt you??? No, I don’t want to hear for the millionth time about how great Coca-Cola is, okay, bye.
(I actually passionately hate pop drinks because they’re so uncomfortable to drink?? The fizzy feeling and just blechh. I don’t understand. xD)
4. SO MUCH MENTAL EXERCISE –> SO MUCH PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Now, before any protestants try to argue how mental exercise and physical exercise are different and not the same!! Let me just offer this definition (because I’m extra and need to prove this point even if it’s not strictly correct):
the regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
Reading = repeated use of the bodily organ, the brain! It’s one of the best forms of exercise, okay.
- You need to exert so much energy, being awake far into the night, reading tiny tiny fonts
- Not only absorbing the information once, but also retaining it*
- Forming connections to characters!!
- Not to mention if you’re reading a very suspenseful book, thinking of plot twists!
- Noticing foreshadowing!
- Having intellectual** opinions!
Quite a good mental exercise.
*For the duration of the book, anyway. Afterwards all bets are off.
**Or just incomprehensible screeching. They’re synonymous.
Of course, for athletes playing games are super intense and not to mention, training is a TON of physical exercise!! Sure, mental and physical exercise are working two different organs, but they’re both equally important, yes?
Honestly though, the amount of exercise all you athletes do is honestly SO impressive!!! *bows* If you’re an athlete or someone who does a lot of exercise, know that there’s a person in Canada cheering you on and in awe of your powers. :)))
5. Building muscle lifting piles of books –> Building muscle lifting weights
BOOKS ARE HEAVY. If you contest this you are either a) delusional, b) smart to NOT pick up a million books stacked on top of eachother or c) lying to yourself.
So I think it’s fair to say we bookworms build muscle carrying all our VERY VERY HEAVY books, right??
I have very poor upper body strength, I’m telling you, so it’s a true struggle lugging all the books from the library or moving them around because my poor arms are very weak. But! They’re getting stronger day by day thanks to the piles of
*Hahahaha. Sure, honey. Keep telling yourself that so you avoid going to the gym, YA LAZY POTATO.
Am I seriously comparing piles of books to weights? Yes, yes I am.
IT’S VALID, OKAY.
Athletes often do strength training and such! Build muscle and all that jazz to be a fearsome opponent and super fit
and all that I’m not! Although readers don’t build muscle as intensely as an athlete would aim for (it’s more accidental, tbh) the idea of it is the same? Somewhat? One just uses books, the other weights. Same difference……
6. Running away from your TBR –> Running away from your opponent
Firstly, let me tell you: my TBR is over 1800 books. Accumulated over 2.5 years? I don’t even want to LOOK at it because it’s scary and I’m AVOIDING IT, OKAY.
I don’t think it’s very healthy? I have a growing suspicion my TBR is trying to smother me quietly and HENCE THE RUNNING.
If I run I don’t ever have to deal with it, you know? (Even though I should be cleaning out my shelf and getting rid of the books I don’t actually want to read. But figuratively running is easier.)
NOTHING IS AS DANGEROUS AS A LARGE TBR. Whether the TBR is 200, or 1000, doesn’t matter because it’s probably still taller than yourself and is very keen to destroy you.
Do we see that threat with playing or watching sports? I THINK NOT.
Darnit my bias again.
I meant. Uh. Oh yes!! Running away from an opponent is indeed very stressful!! Although I suppose it’s more of an immediate stress* while with your TBR you’re just stressed because it will kill you slowly.
But both are equal**!!
*I don’t know about you, but I would be HELLA STRESSED because I have two left feet and would probably trip over the ball as I’m running away, okay. NOT FUN.
** That’s not a lie at all. Nope.
7. Buddy reads –> Team sports
And solo sports = solo reading, naturally! Now I haven’t ever actually done a buddy read?? I don’t think?? (Feel free to hit me up if you want to buddy read something I might be interested in!) But obviously I have the qualifications to comment on the topic. Obviously.
The similarity is there though!! Buddy read -> read the same book with other people. Team sport -> play the same game with other people. (Does that work? I think that works.)
Personally, (and this is a surprise for sure) buddy reads are evidently superior because you get to fangirl!! or!! rant!! with!! other!! people!! and see their thoughts and have a sort of shared CONNECTION, you know.
And reading! Is great! Especially if you can share the experience with other people?? And if they’re across the world you can wake them up with your screaming thoughts at ungodly hours… #fun
I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about* but my common sense dictates team sports also create a sort of ~connection~ or kinship, or teamwork, SOMETHING POSITIVE, between its team members! Not to mention team sports also require a good understanding of the other person and what their strategy is, you know? Lots of good ol’ friendship building and all that. :)))
*Hahahahaha says me as I’ve done this throughout the entire post
8. Finishing a book/Reaching a reading goal –> Scoring a goal
REACHING GOALS ARE GREAT. One step closer to conquering the TBR! One step closer to completing your GoodReads challenge! One step closer to destroying the world!
I don’t know if it’s just the over-achiever in me, but I’m always super happy once I’ve finished a book! (Unless I didn’t like it. In which case it can go ahead and delete itself from existence.) Because then I can add it to my GR challenge and FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF, OKAY.
On the same side, scoring a goal/backet/point/WINNING SOMETHING during a game is always great! Obviously. That way you’re closer to winning the game, the whole point, etc etc. So, us readers win reading challenges, and athletes win games!!
Not to mention, both readers and athletes spend a TON of time and effort in reading/training and playing their game and that should be recognized on both sides. :))
9. Feeling happy over books –> Feeling happy playing sports
Ah, the cliche, everything comes down to happiness! Honestly, if only more people cared about happiness.
Because at the end of the day, both a bookworm reading a book and a person playing or participating in a sport they love, those two people ARE HAPPY. Different things make different people happy! The happiness I feel when I’m reading a book, or talking about a book, is because of my passion for reading and how much I love it, and I’m not going to say sorry for that??? IT’S GREAT.
And I’m going to bet, for people who play sports, they have a similar passion and love for the sport they play; just because it’s a sport doesn’t mean they deserve higher/lesser respect or recognition.
So in terms of happiness, both reading and playing sports are EQUAL. End of story.
And now some sports books!
Even though they would most likely be awful torture!
Pepped Up by Ali Dean: Running!
Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally: Swimming?
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally: Running!
Winger by Andrew Smith: Uhhh. Rugby?
First & Then by Emma Mills: THAT COVER. But also football. (ew)
Tumbling by Caela Carter: Gymnastics! This one actually sounds like something I might like.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K Johnston: Football?
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger: Football vs soccer or something like that
Not gonna lie, I plan on reading maybe like, 2 of these. At most. If even that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I TOLD YOU I DON’T CARE ABOUT SPORTS, OKAY.
But there you go, if you ever want to read about sports-related things! xD
This post makes 0% sense, but you know what, we’re going to roll with it (’cause I wrote it and posted it already so) and act like it makes total sense (and if it doesn’t.. whelp.). I attempted to form a bond with sports using books in an attempt to perhaps enjoy it more, buuut it’s
hard impossible because BOOKS ARE SO MUCH BETTER. xD
In any case, despite this post, sports and books should stop being compared/divided!! Case in point: when I told my sister what I was writing on, she straight up told me I was crazy and delusional because books and sports are just TOO different. At their core, sure, both reading and playing sports uses and strengthens very different parts of our body.
But the point I’m trying to make isn’t just comparing the surface aspect (although that’s what I kind of do in this post hahah), but to just point out the two areas don’t have to be as divided as we make them out to be in books/movies/society! They are two different things that make different people happy in different quantities, can’t we leave it at that rather than pit them against one another?
YES WE CAN.
But let’s go on pretending there’s a true competition/debate here while I ask you: What are your thoughts on sports and books being similar?? Am I the only one who feels the reader/athlete superiority distinction?? Am I just wayyy off the mark on this one? (I may have high-key been reaching for points but hey, now they exist and are somewhat valid.)
Also don’t pop drinks taste awful??? Don’t let me be the only oneeeee PLEASE.