I had a long Skype chat the other night with a friend in Florida, and when I asked him what he’d been doing with himself that day he said he’d been reading… gone for a long walk on the beach… and then done some more reading. There was something about this that gave me permission. Permission to spend a whole day just reading. Permission to lose myself in the page. Permission to switch off my phone and concentrate on the physically written word, for once.


I lined up the books that I’m currently reading (yes, there are five or six of them), but don’t worry: the pile of books I have to read is about three times as high! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it earlier – the notion of just lying on the sofa relaxing for a whole day, getting up only for a cup of tea or walk in the forest. You try telling me that that isn’t play!

I managed to spend an entire day and only read about 150 pages. But I was underlining and writing notes (yes, right there on the page. Rebellious!). And losing myself completely in the experience.

I believe I was applying the concentration and state-of-seriousness that I’m coming to believe is the essential quality of play. I’ll write a blog post just on that, one of these days.

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading. – Logan Pearsall Smith

Ease of play: 5/10 (I find staying put and reading really quite hard!) 

Resemblance to play: 3/10 

Aggression: Low

Speed: Slow

Enjoyability: Medium

Potential frequency of play: High

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