Posted in All Articles, Writer's problems

What to do if you hate reading

Psst! This article is also available as a recording on YouTube. You can listen to it here.

If you are not a writer and you hate reading, that’s fine. But if you are a writer who hates reading, it’s a big problem. Readers can figure out very easily which writers read and which don’t. Writers who read surprise with their plot and amaze with vocabulary they are using.

FAKE REASON WHY YOU DON’T READ:

You don’t have time: if you think you don’t have time for reading, ask yourself, when you check your phone most often. On the bus stop, in a crowded metro, during a train journey, at a boring party, after lunch break, in the university class, at the office etc. Do you know that you could be looking at a book instead of looking at your phone? Yes, you know. But if you are still choosing the phone, you simply don’t want to have time for reading.

REAL REASON WHY YOU DON’T READ:

Reading doesn’t entertain you and doesn’t help you grow: you grab a book, hoping that the author will struck you with the brilliant plot, unique characters and high-brow vocabulary. And you get disappointed. You grab another book and get disappointed again. This continues until you no longer grab books. You probably still roam around book shops, but you don’t buy anything, or if you buy, you drop it after three pages. If you are an author who is determined to land on the bestselling list one day – you must have great expectations of the books that you take into your hands… And the books you are reading don’t meet these expectations. You simply stoped believing that reading will provide growth and entertainment. This is why you don’t do it anymore. It’s not worth your time. Anything is better than reading – even mindlessly scrolling social media.

HOW TO REPAIR YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH READING: DOs and DON’Ts:

  1. Declutter your bookshelf. Your bookshelf is probably full of promising books that turned out to be a disappointment. Or, you might have changed your interests overnight and simply don’t want to continue with the old stuff. Yet, it stays on your to-read list, making you want to postpone all the possible reading for later. Throw away, give out or sell those books that you are not interested in. Liberate yourself. Start fresh!
  2. Think about what really interests you in your everyday life. Let your interests dictate which books you are choosing. Research books online in advance or alternatively ask a shop assistant or librarian to help you. Alternatively: get familiar with all possible genres. Pick only the ones that truly appeal to you.
  3. Stop buying books without knowing what they are about. This saves from you disappointent. I’m serious, stop choosing books by the cover! If you have chosen by the cover, then you have a nice cover – but not necessarily interesting content.
  4. Before you buy a book, take a look inside and read at least three pages. If you want to keep on reading now, it’s green light for buying the book. If you think that you might read it later, know that in your case later probably means never. In short, only buy the books that you are truly desperate to read.
  5. Price matters – especially if you are saving money to invest in your own books. Opt for library or buy cheaper books. There are tons of them and they are as good as super expensive books.
  6. If you are looking for high-brow literature, try: academic, non-fiction, classics, awards. However, keep in mind, that this sort of literature might be difficult, unrelatable and boring.
  7. Be honest with yourself about what kind of reader you are. If you are the type who reads cook books in the kitchen and quick harlequins on the beach, that’s perfectly fine! Not everyone likes thick Scandinavian horrors.
  8. Treat your to-read list like a music playlist. If you don’t like your current read, drop it without thinking twice. Don’t force yourself to read what you hate.
  9. Some authors are overrated and some are underrated. This is why you should always give chance to an author, no matter what their background is.
  10. If you love an author, go ahead and grab other books written by them. If a book by your favorite author disappoints you, drop it and get another one.
  11. Read reviews to grasp what the books are about, not to know if the book was good or not. Because all reviews are biased. Give a bestseller in one genre to a reader of other genre and they’ll rate it 2-3 stars. Give a new niche novel in one genre to a reader of this genre and they’ll rate it 4-5 stars.
  12. Try other formats: not everyone likes paper books. If you commute / travel a lot, carrying a luggage full of books is going to bother you. Opt for digital formats like e-book or audiobook.
  13. Find books that are similar to your favorite books, but treat them as separate reads. How to find similar books? Check review blogs that reviewed your favorite books and browse what else they reviewed.
  14. Don’t ask your friends to recommend you books, unless you have a similar taste. Don’t feel obliged to read something just because a friend recommended it.
  15. If you distract yourself while reading, it’s fine. I often jot down ideas when reading or chat online with someone.

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST…

If there is anything that you find worth reading, read it. It doesn’t need to be a novel. I read articles, news, documentaries, statistics, lyrics, poetry, encyclopedias, dictionaries, self-help, how-to etc. I also listen to lectures and watch informative videos. Remember, that you can get knowledge from all sources, not just reading. 

 

Author:

Hi! I am an author. I've published my debut novel in 2015 in Poland ("Dokąd teraz popłynę?"). My main genre is fantasy and magical realism. I often discuss socially difficult topics in my works and try to pass on a message of hope. I am always inspired and I never stop writing. My writing inspirations are Bruno Schulz, Pablo Neruda, Kiran Desai and Haruki Murakami. In my private life I am a polyglot. I believe in the Law Of Attraction and I write about it on UltimateManifester at Wordpress.

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