Let’s Talk Bookish – Why Don’t People Read?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

DECEMBER 24: WHY DON’T PEOPLE READ? (Mikaela @ Mikaela Reads)

What do you think puts people off reading? If you had to recommend a book to someone that you think would turn them into a reader, what would it be? Have you ever been a non-reader and then been converted??

We’re so close to the end of 2021 everyone! Welcome to another week of LTB here at DTRH. Today’s topic is an interesting one, as I’m sure there are a plethora of reasons why people don’t read. I guess the question then becomes, how can we encourage people to read more?

I think for some people, it’s the visual aspect. Being able to sit back on a couch and watch TV, or enjoy the cinematography of a movie, are just very different ways of absorbing media content from reading books. Most people vastly prefer one over the other. I tend to enjoy reading because my imagination from reading tends to be more vivid than what is portrayed on screen. However, for something overly long and descriptive (you know who they are), sometimes I find a movie can just be easier to take in than having each blade of grass described to me.

Ironically, a friend of mine yesterday just told me that she had trouble getting back into books recently, saying they weren’t able to hold her attention. I think this is actually a really big reason why people don’t read. Most people are able to pick up a book upon suggestion (and indeed, aren’t we all forced to read at some point during school), but the main problem becomes maintaining focus and interest.

At that point I wonder if it’s really just about finding the right book for each person. I have met many a non-reader who still reads one specific genre, or series, or author. I don’t find people are generally adverse to reading books, just that if they aren’t interested in going through with a book, they are more discouraged from picking one up the next time. Even people who say they “don’t” read often read something sometimes. Books are just treasure troves of knowledge, and I think it’s overall hard to avoid them completely.

I have always been someone who loves to read and indulge in my imaginations. That being said, reading is one of those tasks that is almost impossible to multi-task during. Letting a TV series play while cooking, or listening to music while working are just a few ways in which society has told us to be “efficient.” I think this has been one of the main reasons in the rise of audiobooks. But either way, if more people are “reading” through audiobooks, I think that is just as great.

I totally understand the appeal, as it leaves your hands free to do something else, and even leaves your eyes free to watch over something else (food, children, Zoom lecture (just kidding), etc.). I find that personally my eyes get tired way faster than my brain or energy, and so even if I have the time, sometimes I just don’t have the physical strength to read for very long. I do try my best to fit it into my schedule though, of course.

What do you all think? Why don’t people read? And what are good ways to encourage them to read? Do you all have any recommendations for “non-readers?”

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – Why Don’t People Read?”

  1. for me, it was because i read really slowly so all the books i read were boring/didn’t hold my interest. it wasn’t until i picked up audiobooks (and i read along with a physical book so i don’t get distracted) that i actually started to enjoy reading more!
    that, and realising if i didn’t like something i could dnf it instead of trying to finish it (which made reading become a chore).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great answers. I try to encourage young people I teach to try lots of different genres, including non-fiction, graphic novels and even magazines, as sadly the books they HAVE to read as part of their studies can often put them off reading for pleasure.


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