How do you force yourself to read?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by je1ani, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    I was listening to some NPR today and they were mentioning how people who read for entertainment do overwhelmingly better in life than those who don't. They also made the correlation that internet does not count because you're reading for short periods of time and your mind isn't in the same state as if you were sitting down reading a book. But anytime I want to just relax and read a book I begin thinking of something else going on in my life and quickly I notice I'm about 3 pages into the book and i don't know what i've just read. What are somethings you do to help you keep your mind focused? I've been like this all throughout High School also. :(
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    When you're reading a book – unless you're doing it for research or something – you're doing it for pleasure. I suppose rather than trying to force yourself to read books you can't get into, it might be a better idea to broaden your scope a bit and try to find some authors, styles or genres of books that you do enjoy reading.

    Maybe have a good browse through the shelves at your local library and see if anything catches your interest?
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I take public transport to and from work (I realise this may be a foreign concept in the US). Taking into account average waiting time for the little computer driven train to arrive I have 15 minutes or so to kill each way. So I read there. And I don't have to force myself to: the days where I have nothing to read are dull.
  4. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2006
    I only read when I have something that I actually want to so because of that I'm reading books I'm interested in and I have the opposite problem sometimes in that I don't want to put the book down.
  5. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    We're told vegetarians on average do better in life than the rest of us. But is this because of their diet, or simply because the sort of people who become vegetarians are going to be thoughtful people in the first place?

    Is it the reading of the books that improves 'performance', or is it that the type of people who read books are, on average, the sort of people who are deep-thinkers anyway?

    And what about listening to good music? Or doing something creative? Does this not give the same stimulation as reading?

    Some questions to think on.
  6. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    Jaffa said it best. You have to find something that entertains and interests you. Right now I'm reading anything I can get my hands on! I'm 45. I didn't read (much) in high school, but did start reading in my twenties.

    Check out what your peers are reading. FYI I'm reading Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I've also been reading a lot of John Steinbeck (never read the classics when I was younger). The funniest book I've ever read is Lamb by Christopher Moore.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
  7. Shaduu macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2007
    I don't have to force myself, I just love reading.

    But yes, I agree that reading alone isn't the only activity that can improve intellectual ability. Just being creative, doing daily mind puzzles and generally taking an in-depth interest in something can all help keep your mind on its toes. The main advantage of reading a novel is boosting your vocabulary and overall language abilities which, in turn, can translate to other aspects of life such as job interviews. If you go into an interview with your CV being well-written and questions answered with an expanded vocabulary and correct elocution then your chances of securing employment are much higher.

    Only downside to knowing long words is some of your peers may come to think you're just a pretentious, condescending prick. :D
  8. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
  9. lofight macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2007
    I have theese things too, i just first see that everything than can make noise put it off.. then not in a too distracting room go and read,, and your book also needs to be intresting or nice..
  10. scotthayes macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Birmingham, England
    you don't force yourself, just get a book on a subject you like and off you go.
  11. eji macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2004
    Inland Empire
    It isn't so much forcing myself to read, but forcing myself to make time to read. So many other things vie for my attention (baby, work, iPhoto) that I have to make sure I simply set enough time aside for reading -- and not to think of it as a "luxury" pursuit just because I happen to be sitting in a comfy chair or lying on the couch while doing it.

    A bit like iSaint, I enjoyed reading when I was younger but drifted away from it in high school and part of college because it was considered uncool by my peers' standards and unproductive by my parents'. It wasn't until my last year of college, when I was about 22, that I took to reading for pleasure again, mostly because I realized how much I'd been missing out on.

    Since then, I've read plenty of books I enjoy, and some I really had to slog through because I couldn't bear the thought of not finishing them once started. But as long as I claim some time free of distraction and put all the day's commotion out of my mind, reading is never what I'd consider a chore. And mentally "preparing" for it isn't that much different from when you want to watch a movie: you put 90 minutes aside and you let yourself get engrossed.
  12. scotthayes macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Birmingham, England
    I always use my journey to work to read, makes it fly by and fills what would normally be a boring time.

    Guess if life is busy it can be hard to find time.
  13. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    I think about reading but it's usually last on my list of things to do, so it never gets done. After getting home, fixing dinner, watching some tv, playing some guitar/xbox, there's hardly any time for me to read. And I'm the same way, when I read my mind just wanders and I forget what I've just read...
  14. Deefuzz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I got very into reading while in college, not so much in high school. And since I have been quite an avid reader and have quite the collection going. I read just about any type of book, unfortunately I do not have the time that I used to. It is quite difficult to pull myself away from all the pandemonium in my life to give my books the undivided attention they deserve, so I really can't give you too good advice there.

    I will echo other sentiments in saying that find an author or genre you REALLY like. There have been books that I couldn't put down and I absolutely love that feeling.

    And I just wanted to quote this:

    And stand behind this statement. Go read this book. I don't think I ever laughed so hard when reading a book before.
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I buy the ones with naked photos of girls in them. They're quite good. I give the latest one 4/5 bunnies.
  16. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    I would have to force myself not to read. But I don't want to.

  17. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Must be nice. I do the American version, which is listening to an audio book while driving to work. I don't know if that counts as reading or not, but that's about all I have time for these days.
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I don't force myself to read, I enjoy it. The trick is to read things that you like. For example, I have a penchant for murder mysteries, hence I went to the library today and picked up a few for Christmas break.

    One thing that might help you read more is to pick contemporary best sellers. A lot of good books have been out recently (actually pretty much all the time; books have that uncanny ability).

    Try reading The Kite Runner if you haven't already. It's very easy, very simple, but is probably a good way to beat the "boredom" streak you seem to be enjoying right now.
  19. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    i find the '1 beer per page' trick to be quite effective. of course how effective depends on the book and the beer. :)

    pick short books. thats all i'm saying. thanks.
  20. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
  21. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York

    I'm a history major, and have about 6 books in each class to read each semester, and love doing it because they are all on topics I'm interested in. During my breaks (winter and summer) I finally get the time to read books that I've been wanting to read all semester long but didn't have time to do.

    Plus, I am allowed to use my iPod at work, and listen to a lot of audiobooks. I've read/listened to about 5 books in the last two weeks. I prefer actually reading the book myself, but I'll take what I can get.
  22. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    I like short stories and such; "deep" essays, and stuff like that.

    But big books I am forced to read, I do the first chapter, one in the middle, and the last one, and couple that with an in-depth reading of Sparknotes... I know it's not what's ideal, but...
  23. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    How do I force myself to breathe? :confused: :eek:

    “When I get a little money I buy books; if any is left I buy food and clothes.”
  24. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    As everyone else said, just find something you like. Start with something you like AND is easy to get into, mystery or sci-fi or something else light like that. Also try sitting down with a book and doing something else you enjoy at the same time (ex. sit down with a drink or a cigarette).
  25. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I think a quote from The Simpson's Movie says it best:

    "I was elected to lead... not to read..."

    Hahaha. I read things that entertain me, whether they be nerdy books about software or those girly magazines my roommate kept in the bathroom...

    Sad, but true.

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