I read using the Kindle App, with a specific account for over one hundred days before making the mistake of logging in with a different account, and moving the primary account to an older phone. I lost my streak and now I feel free.
Reading streaks are fantastic when the numbers are going up, and when you’re getting close to beating your record, and beat it. The drawback is that reading streaks, on one kindle account is a prison. We have physical books, we have kobo books, we have kindle books and we have Audible books. Each account has a different way of encouraging people to use their app, rather than another. Each one tries to trap you with gamification.
The grand winner out of all of these is Audible of course. I love being able to read while I’m walking, driving, cooking and more. Audible is the most versatile of reading books regularly without having to take time to sit down, and read. With books, kindle, kobo and others you need to devote yourself entirely. With Audible you can do two things at once.
Now back to that feeling of liberation.
During my various walks I found the entire collection of Inspector Morse books so I wanted to read them, but I was stuck with my Kindle reading streak. Now that I broke my streak I can start reading those physical books, and as I finish one I can leave it in a lending library, until I finish the collection.
I like gamification and earning badges but I also like to have the freedom to flit from one device and book source to another. My real goal is to read 52 books in a single year, to read one book per week. This is a challenge worth trying for. It has more meaning than a reading days in a row streak.
The drawback to this challenge is that I don’t want it to stop me from reading thicker books. I don’t want my reading to be skewed trying to reach a reading goal. I like to read. The challenge is just a side project.
The problem I have with reading streaks is the same as I have with fitness trackers that want to track everything, but don’t share it with their competitors. They want to force you to be loyal to them, but in so doing they encourage you to break from them, as if they were toxic, or addictive. I want reading to remain a pleasure and I want watch wearing to be up to my mood of the day, rather than up to the app that tracks everything twenty four hours a day.
There are thousands of books dotted in various villages and if we’re trapped to a single app, then we cannot enjoy the breadth and depth of free books that are available around us. I am happy to read Colin Dexter books in physical form for now, and then to leave them for others to read. This is convivial. It also means less screen time.
And that’s it for now.