Fact: not everyone is cut out for athletics. Every two years I’m reminded of my own physical inadequacy when the Winter or Summer Games kick off. Swimming? Nope. Horse racing? Nope. Skiing? Double nope. Running? Dead. But we bookfolk can take comfort in the fact that we’d read circles around the Katie Ledeckys of the world (unless she is also a formidable bookworm, in which case I’d say, NOT FAIR but also LET ME JOIN YOUR BOOKCLUB, YOU BEAUTIFUL HUMAN). In fact, there are several competitions in which we’d blow Olympic athletes out of the water (so to speak). Including, but not limited to:
1. Subway Reading Sprint
You have 45 pages left of the book you’re reading and approximately 25 minutes of commute in which to finish—and of course there will be no train delays on the day you actually *want* one. If you don’t finish the book before your stop, you’ll have no choice but to stay on the subway until you do. It’s an agonizing race to the finish every time, but nothing compared to starting your work day with just *5 pages* left.
2. The Harry Potter Re-Read Marathon
How fast can you blaze through all of the Harry Potter novels on your yearly re-read? According to the aptly-named howlongtoreadthis.com, the average reader could get through the seven books in just under two and a half days of non-stop reading (59 hours and 1 minute, to be exact). The fastest speed reader might get through in as little as a day and a half of non-stop reading. But until we have a timed reading event, we’ll never *really* know, will we? (First place wins Galleon, second place wins Sickle, and third place wins Knut, for thematic reasons).
3. Most Cups of Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate Accumulated on a Bedside Table During the Reading of One Book
My personal record is five but that’s because I only *have* five mugs (note to self: buy more mugs). Related: most cozy blankets owned. Voracious readers are masters of hygge, I must say.
4. Extreme Focus: Russian Literature Edition
Can you read War and Peace with a jackhammer going outside your window? For the Rory Gilmores of the world, this is a walk in the park. We’re already oblivious to anything happening outside of our books, anyway. For the rest of the world, there might be some comprehension issues (and tears). No noise-canceling headphones allowed, obviously.
5. Rare Book Hunting
If you can find the first-edition copy of The Bell Jar in an old used bookstore without any apparent organization, you deserve a gold medal in my book…but only the fastest can become Olympic readers!