When your job is to read after work

Ben Davies, Christina Lupton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on a pilot study into the reading practices of students and faculty in history, philosophy, and literature in Denmark and the UK. The qualitative interviews with thirty people, each of whom kept a log of their reading activity over one term-time week in Fall 2022, suggests that most people in the study see themselves not having time to read as closely, deeply, or widely as their work ideally demands—even though on other counts they are reading all the time. This phenomenon may have less to do with changing patterns of ‘work’ than with the slimmer margins of time given to summers, sabbaticals, and times of rest. Ironically, the real crisis of these professions may have more to do with the extension of textual engagement into all times of life than with any measurable decline in reading practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
JournalReception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2023


  • reading
  • work
  • time use
  • universities
  • humanities

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