You don't enjoy reading?

I have a friend who complains about two issues

  1. he doesn't enjoy reading
  2. he doesn't read enough

This post is mostly for him but might also have some more general advice, I read quite a lot, in fact this year alone I've read 7 books, if you like reading it's a numbers game, the average book takes between 5-7 hours so if you just read for an hour a day you'll read 50+ books per year, but if you read in the way people watch tv you'll get through a lot more you may be thinking “what about retention?” do you retain all the movies you watch? in fact have you ever taken effort to retain any movie you've watched? why should my form of entertainment be any different? that being said some books I read for more than entertainment and do have methods to help my retention.

When people say they watch to read they don't usually mean it, they mean they want the things books can teach you but due to elitism of readers any other form of learning is looked down upon. I don't want to discredit books completely if you're trying to learn anything at a high level books are irreplaceable but if you just want to know about something why the hell would you chose a book that'll take hours to read instead of a 20-40 minute youtube video you can take notes on? I chose books because my attention span makes me want to shoot myself watching youtube videos, skimming is very annoying on youtube, most of the time you can watch at 2x speed all the way through but with longer videos you have to either have a good attention span or keep switching between 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x which is really annoying but when reading you can just switch seamlessly between skimming and paying close attention, it also helps that I enjoy reading words make brain go brrrr.

If you don't enjoy reading you shouldn't want to read more than you have to reading rarely has benefits that're unique to books other than egostroking with a bunch of people who've just read wikipedia pages for books so they can pretend they've read the whole thing. Not enjoying reading isn't something to be sad about it's just a personal preference and however much you read is enough, if you begin reading more you'll still be reading enough, if you stop reading as much you'll still be reading enough – when most people talk about wanting to read it's for either

a. talking to others about how much they love reading etc, bordering on aesthetic circlejerking

b. to gain value from having read, education

(a) should be dismissed completely in the age of the ereader the only reason to have books is because you can't get them for your ereader or reference materials, the fact people have hundreds of dollars worth of books (resale value) sat on a shelf that they will never re-read or have never even read will only ever fill me with disgust, there are even apps in which you just scan barcodes, box up your books then slap on a shipping label and they come and collect the books, that have ironically become nothing more than paperweights from you.

(b) is also a mostly silly reason we live in an incredible time in which there are way to become educated on almost any topic without ever reading, youtube videos, online courses, audible – there even exist services to summarise and condense books for you such as SparkNotes and Blinkist some elitists might claim these are not as good as the real thing but I'd strongly argue as someone who reads that a 10 minute summary and then maybe a 15 minute review of a 7 hour book will give you the same level of understanding and insight as reading the book would (though this doesn't apply to all books) you can even have news articles read to you via pocket

Reading isn't for everyone and if it isn't for you be thankful we live in an age in which reading isn't required to learn.



Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme