Why reading books is hard and how to ease the pain
You want to be successful. Every day business gurus tell you to that reading books is the key to success. And probably you’ve already tried reading, only to find how boring it is and how much you hate doing it.
If that’s you, you are in the right place. I used to be you. I had always hated reading, in fact, in school, I used to be the kid that hadn’t opened a single book during the summer and was proud of it.
All that changed last year when I decided to push myself and figure it out on the go. I quickly found that motivation isn’t enough and you need good reasons and habits to get you through the moments you’d want to quit.
This article is the thing I needed to read when I embarked on my reading journey. It’d have saved me a ton of time.
Why do people hate reading?
We’re all different. Some of us have tried reading once, found that’s boring and then proudly wore that badge for years on. Others, never really tried it or became traumatized by a school teacher and never stopped to perceive reading as this thing I hate with a passion.
These are all good reasons, but I believe there’s more to it. There is something that makes people not wanting to read even though we’ve never had easier access to books.
And this thing is called: the Internet.
The Internet made it possible to have everything you want in a click away. We no longer have the patience to wait in lines, instead, we shop on Amazon. We no longer can sit without doing nothing, we need to be doing something, scrolling, chatting, watching.
This affects our attention span like nothing else. We’re at an all-time low, there even a few researchers saying that a goldfish has a higher attention span than the average internet user.
You can make an experiment and see for yourself.
Start scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Do it for at least 15 minutes ( won’t be so hard ). Now open some long article and try reading.
It’s pretty hard, isn’t it?
Now, you must know by now why it’s so hard to read and so few can manage it.
If you’re still not excited about reading books this should fix that.
Hopefully, you have already a few good reasons to read and a new determination to start. Now, we let’s get to the most important part of this article – how to actually start reading on a daily basis and make it less of a pain in the ass.
Strategies to develop a reading routine
- 1. Tie it up to a habit
Presumably, your goal is to read every day. The best way to accomplish this is to tie it up to a habit, which you already do daily. For example, I hope you brush your teeth every night and since you do it, you can use that to incorporate reading into your evening routine.
Just open a book right after you finish brushing your teeth. It’s hard to build a new habit out of nowhere and that’s why you have to tie it up to something you already do. This works well because it helps the brain to get familiar with the new routine faster.
And it removes the need to practice a few months to make it a steady habit. In my case, I tried it but it didn’t work out because I tend to be too tired in the evening and have non-existent willpower to push myself. Until I found another way to incorporate it .
- 2. Use your willpower smart
That’s what worked for me. My routine is simple. I wake up, brush my teeth, make myself a coffee and then read. “But why this works” – you ask. It‘s effective due to the high amounts of willpower we have in the morning.
This makes it so much easier to push yourself. The key to trick is to not turn on any electronic devices. They’re going to take your attention away thus making it much harder to get back to reading.
For your brain there’re way more interesting things than reading. I actually use both tactics. I tie it up to a habit ( brushing my teeth and drinking coffee ). And also use the high amount of willpower that I have in the morning.
- 3. Set a goal
Now, how to make yourself stick to it every single day and not bail out in the next few days? Set a milestone that you want to accomplish every day.
Challenge yourself to finish 20 pages a day or keep reading for 40 minutes. This work wonders because you start perceiving it as a challenge and thus begin pushing yourself slightly more than usual.
You can set a goal and then after accomplishing it, you can always read more. Just the thought, that once you get it done – it’s done, will make you commit longer.
I read for an hour every morning and if I get immersed in the book I usually continue until I finish a chapter.
- 4. Choose your books wisely
That’s crucial. We all have a friend that complains how much he hates to read. The funny thing is, always when you ask what they’ve read, they answer with – “I started this book about having positive energy”.
If you don’t want to be a part of this group, listen up Don’t read books that don’t excite you.
That’s why you hate doing it. You have to read about things you want to learn, things you have a problem with or something that genuinely excites you.
For example, you know you are a lazy ass and have decided to finally change that. Go and pick up a book about productivity and discipline, don’t force yourself to read “how to repair your truck guides” or some fluffy stories.
When I was starting out, I made a list of things I wanted to learn. Then went on the internet and researched for a week to find books that made me genuinely excited.
- 5. Always carry a book
You don’t have time for reading, I get it. Apart from the fact that if you don’t have 20 minutes a day, you probably don’t have a life, an easy fix is to always carry a book with you.
And let’s not begin with the excuses. One can always find 10 minutes here and there. While you wait for the bus/train. While you wait for the friend who is always late.
When you go into the bathroom, take your book instead of your phone. A clever tip I can give you is to stop listening to music when you travel. Or when you have some minutes to waste, do not turn your internet on.
You will eventually get bored and open your book.
- 6. Audio-books
So, you’ve read the whole article and then have spent the following month trying every single advice I gave you.
However, nothing worked and you can proudly say that you really do hate reading. Let me introduce you to audio-books. It’s a cool feature that lets you listen to audio versions of books.
So with that, you can work out and “read”, you can cook, you can eat. You can literally do everything you want that doesn’t require much of your attention and gather knowledge at the same time.
- 7. Determination
My father always says that if you do something, do it well or don’t do it at all. Here I will follow his example and say – if you want to read, then do it and don’t bail out the second it gets hard.
Don’t wait for the day when you are going to have the motivation, that day never comes. Just push yourself, and trust me, it gets easier with the time. It’s hard to make a new habit stick especially when you’ve never done it before.
That’s why you should figure out what your “why” is. Knowing the deep reason behind your actions will help like nothing else to push yourself through the moments you don’t feel like continuing.
To sum up
Contrary to what everyone preaches, there are plenty of successful people who don’t read at all ( Garry Vaynerchuk for example ).
It’s okay if you don’t do it. On the other hand, reading books could be hard to begin with but incredibly beneficial in the long run. I hate saying it because it’s such a cliché but it’s been life-changing for me.
It made me learn so many things about myself, about the world we live in, about history and much, much more.
At the end of the day, the choice is only yours.