So my Kobo has started to give me achievements. Sort of like when you're playing a videogame, and you unlock a certain effect: maybe you blow up six enemies at once, and you get "Explosive Temper!" or some other such silly phrase emblazoned across the top right of your screen. I've picked up "I Eat Books for Lunch" and "Happy Hour," among a few others, though I have so far declined to share these "achievements" on Facebook.
Why? Because, honestly, reading is not like videogaming: it's not something I imagine making light of. We should not, in short, get achievements for reading in the context of a society that can afford to produce eReaders and eBooks. We're enormously technologically advanced: basic literacy - and a desire to occasionally indulge in some reading - should not be something to gloat over on Facebook.
But then again, I have to realize that literacy is still a thing that must be fought for; that not everyone, even in advanced industrial societies, is literate; and, despite my cynicism and mockery, maybe these achievements can actually help induce kids - of all backgrounds, from all places - to read more.
I certainly hope so, because I just think it's kinda goofy.
Weigh in, Internet: Is Ben Godby just a cynical jerk?