Why are Reading Books Hard?

Everyday when I enter my room, I see my bookshelf that is filled with unread books. I bought these books between the time of 7th grade to freshman year of high school. I don’t think I have boughten a book since, unless it was a book for school. All of these books I wanted to read, and never did. Why? I still say I want to read them, but I just don’t. I always say I don’t have enough time for that, but If I don’t have the time for that, how do I have the time to sit on my phone for hours?
The first six chapters are filled with amazing information, information that really makes you think. But the idea of not being able to read actual books struck me the most. When Carr was explaining how he no longer can read a book, and giving examples of other people who can’t read a long passage, I was lying in bed doing the exact same thing. I could not focus on what he was saying. I kept thinking of other things, distracting myself. I even kept looking up at the page number to see if somehow, magically, I got from page 1 to page 114. I wanted to be done reading.
When I come across long articles, ones that are on the internet of course, I look for a video that will sum it up for me. If there isn’t, I may just exit out of the article, or skim through it to find the “good stuff” I’m looking for.
In another class I am currently taking, we have to read out of a magazine and are quizzed on what we read. I find it so hard to hold the magazine and just read. I’ll start skimming through it even when I know I will be quizzed on it. I know I should be really reading it and studying it as I read, but I can’t find myself to do it.
When I start a new class, I always hope they professor will be using a powerpoint and not the textbook. I only want to know the important bullet points of information. It is like my mind is closed off from understanding all the concepts and only wants to know “bullet points.”
How Carr pointed this out right in the very beginning I think is very important. I never truly saw this in myself until he brought it up, and as I kept reading, I was trying to be better. I relate to this in so many ways, given the examples of above, and I am surprised how much I try to get around reading something. Many other people feel this way as well. I found this article written by Hugh McGuire. He discovered how hard it was for him to read a book, and that many other people feel this way.


Author: Brittany Walls

I am currently a student at the University of Delaware studying English, but eventually want to be a nurse.

4 thoughts on “Why are Reading Books Hard?”

  1. As a book lover who struggles with the same thing, this is hard to read. How can we force ourselves to revel in the novelties of a book again? Do you think the print book will ever be outdated, or do you think it’s timeless?


  2. Time eludes our grasp: When it’s gone, it never returns. Therefore, time must be utilized wisely, used toward our bet wishes. You wish to read more, but haven’t. You stare at your book shelf, one that used to inspire your mind and your taste for more literature. Now, it appears as thought your relationship with the book shelf has been hallowed out, despite there being numerous novels that are surely waiting to be cracked out. I hope that you find that urge to sit down and meditate on the thoughts of an author. Reading connects the mind to empathetic lessons, to the enormity of someone else’s difficulties or personal strides. Will you find yourself in love with literature again? Will you find the motivation to seek out the paperback? I hope so.


  3. I also have a completely full bookshelf in my bedroom at home, and have not made time to read many of the books in a while. I will never understand how we end up spending the majority of our day engaged in our phones and on our computers focusing on things that often times will not fully benefit us. I also find it helpful when professors teach from a powerpoint rather than a textbook, because it is much more tailored to our generation’s way of taking in information.


  4. I hope I find my love for reading books again and I still think books are timeless. I think they are important, I just need to find the time to sit down and read. My relationship with the bookshelf has gone away, maybe one day it’ll come back.


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