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.
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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