Variety / Quantity / Quality

My main motivation why I read is just having fun. Learning, increasing my concentration rates, looking for information I am curious about and so on are usually side-effects. However, they are also good consequences of reading, and all of them could be motivators in and of themselves. They define parts of the personality as well.

Once we realise that having fun is not the only good thing we can gather from literature, we should be aware of the tricky package variety – quantity – quality.

Source: Commons (Public domain)

Source: Commons (Public domain)


According to PISA files, this is the most important factor while reading. It doesn’t matter whether a person read a lot. Saying it otherwise, if two people read the same quantity of literature but one of them reads always the same genre whereas the other switches among them, the second one will have more possibilities of developing his cognitive abilities. In this equation not only can we include all kind of fictional books, but also essay, divulgation, poetry, theatre, newspapers, e-books, comics and the like. Probably, we could add reading in more than one language.

In my opinion, this is the main idea we should keep in mind while reading. Also, I think that switching among different plots and styles is very interesting and fun! Apart from that, reading too much within an only genre could lead to tediousness and reading crisis, which are the opposite of the first goal: read to have fun.


Probably, this is the point of disagreement. What is best between quantity and quality? As usual, there’re no simple answers. I believe that there’s a point when one of them outruns the other. Quality is more important to me, though the more balance the better. Incidentally, a high reading frequency allows a higher variety.


If your time of reading is sparse, go for it! Quality is, nevertheless, hard to define. Although what is quality is something which is beyond this post’s aim, we could probably agree in taking each literary corpus as a guarantee of quality. They list works which are rewarded due to innovations in many aspects, so we expect to take from a few of them more feedback than from a bunch of non-rewarded ones.

However, every reader is different. Sacrificing quantity for quality doesn’t worth when the person doesn’t enjoy the books as much as others. Also, quality shouldn’t be a complete alternative to variety. Newspapers, comics, magazines or blogs are also important in our development as readers and people. Don’t underrate them.


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