Why is reading so hard to do?

Why is reading so hard to do?

Why is reading so hard to do? I don’t have a lot of answers for you, I have to be honest. But I want to think this through for myself, so – I thought – why not share my thinking publicly, and perhaps get some others’ opinions?

A couple of weeks ago I went to a conference in another state and had to take a plane. While I was in the airport, flying between airports, waiting for my connecting flight, and while I was flying to the final destination, I read the novel voraciously.

I am currently reading Ayana Grey’s Beasts of Prey which I strongly recommend, even for people not fans of fantasy. I say “currently reading” but I have not picked the book up once since I got home – in fact I haven’t picked up any books.

Pretending to read Beasts of Prey

But why haven’t I read anything? I was really enjoying the book and was annoyed whenever there was an announcement over the intercom that interrupted my reading. I am still anxious to know what happens to the characters. I am still consuming other media, and I have read a lot of novels this year, so what has happened?

I have one theory – my home is not set up for reading. But this isn’t really true. We have a living room with no TV and I can wear headphones to listen to music. We do have our dining room table in the basement with our TV, so perhaps it’s a matter of flowing from the table to the TV without pondering other entertainment?

Or perhaps it’s laziness? Putting HBO Max or Paramount+ onto the TV screen is easier than picking up a book.

Perhaps it’s a desire to consume multiple media? I often play Wordament or Alto’s Odyssey while ‘watching’ TV. That’s not something you can do when reading a book.

Do I read books because I want to, or because I feel like it is somehow a more worthy way to spend time? And if it is more worthy than an Xbox session, or watching a TV show, why is that?

My main concern is that, though I enjoy reading, I don’t do it now because it requires more effort. I have gotten used to consuming a ten-minute YouTube video here and there. If a movie feels like too much of an entertainment investment, how much of an investment is a novel? But Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or Civilization VI require a lot more time, and I don’t fail to spend time on those.

So many questions, so few answers. Do you have any ideas?

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2 thoughts on “Why is reading so hard to do?

  1. I definitely agree and feel similarly. I find that if I’m hooked by a good book, I easily make time for it. Some books, even though enjoyable, can take more motivation to dedicate myself to. Maybe it’s about discipline or about allowing ones self to do the activities most enjoyed.

    A neurologist informed me that reading is an exceptionally important skill, different to listening to a book or watching a show/movie – it requires our brain to decode in 0way that few other activities do. This is an important exercise for our brains. AND maybe that is the problem – I’m terrible at exercise and doing this I’m “supposed” to do. Hmm…

  2. I have had similar experiences…related to reading while traveling-maybe it has something to do with being out of my normal routine & environment making me feel more open to doing something different. Energy & laziness is connected to it for me as well…I choose watching shows over reading way more at home than when I am traveling! It may also be related to the kind of work that you do-if you read a lot for work, you may not want to read during your free time.

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