How do you force yourself to read?

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

  1. je1ani macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #1
    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

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    #2
    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

    robbieduncan

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    #3
    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

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    Jan 30, 2006
    #4
    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

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    #5
    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

    iSaint

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    #6
    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

    Shaduu

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    #7
    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

    Iscariot

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  9. lofight macrumors 68000

    lofight

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    #9
    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

    scotthayes

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    #10
    you don't force yourself, just get a book on a subject you like and off you go.
     
  11. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

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    #11
    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

    scotthayes

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    #12
    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

    odinsride

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #13
    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

    Deefuzz

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    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    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

    Abstract

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    #15
    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

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    Dec 9, 2004
    #16
    I would have to force myself not to read. But I don't want to.

    --Eric
     
  17. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    London, UK
    #17
    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

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #18
    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

    4JNA

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    #19
    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

    Mydel

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  21. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #21
    Same.

    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

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
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    Massachusetts
    #22
    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 601

    arkitect

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    Bath, United Kingdom
    #23
    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.”
    Erasmus
     
  24. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #24
    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

    mrwizardno2

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #25
    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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