22 Main Struggles of Reading and How To Avoid Them
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
Like everything else in this world, even with reading, people tend to struggle getting through it. Some might have concentration issues or some would call it reader’s block. If you’re facing difficulty finishing that book you’ve been reading for what you could’ve labeled as eternity, this article might do the trick to get things moving at a right direction.
22 Main Struggles of Reading and How To Avoid Them
- The urge to complete a book as fast as possible isn’t really a good approach when it comes to reading. So if you notice yourself looking at the page number all the time, try not to. For physical books, try to cover the page number to reduce the level of distraction. Some eBook readers have the function to completely turn this off, hence an extremely good feature to use if you happen to be facing this problem.
- If you’ve created a routine of reading before going to sleep, or if you are dependent to get to sleep through reading, then reading before your bed time is not really a good idea. Try reading somewhere else or at a different time, and you might not get so tired or unwillingly triggering that subconscious mind telling your body it’s bed time.
- Try to clear your mind while reading, sometimes even the slightest of distraction like the smell of coffee or minor miscomprehension of the previous chapter, can break your level of concentration and cause you to skip sentences and even paragraphs. It’s sort of like a “I need to finish this chapter as soon as possible to satisfy my cravings or to go back to the previous chapter and re-read again.”
- Focusing too much time on your smartphone / tablet / laptop researching for more books to read. Researching sometimes can be extremely time consuming. Try not to be so picky on the next book to read or try experimenting with potentially good titles which you personally think that is worth investing time into. Moral of the story – the more time you spend on selecting the next book to read, the less time you have to read, giving yourself that negative impression that you need to read “faster” to compensate on all the time you’ve “wasted” earlier researching.
- Reading on a tablet / smartphone, which has way too many apps that “conveniently” allows you to distract yourself from reading. Imagine reading and a message pops up saying that your friend has replied to your email. Twitter messages and even Facebook notifications can be huge obstacles to get that focus going.
- Not unplugging yourself from the TV and Internet.
- Reading something that you don’t like reading. Giving yourself options and trying out new genres are good, but if doesn’t help you at all, it’s time to tick that off from your reading list.
- Procrastination – just collecting books / eBooks but not reading them, or just giving yourself excuses not to read every time when you feel like reading. Make some time to read and start reading, it’s always about starting it off.
- Trying to remember all the characters’ names and not the story. Try to focus on the main and supporting characters but not every single one of them. Sometimes it might help in understanding the story line, but sometimes there are just way too many characters involved.
- Over imagining things, too attentive to the tiniest of details – like how big is a room and the amount of windows in it, how many people are involved in a fighting scene, etc.
- Not searching for the right environment. Some would label a noisy cafe with a huge crowd a decent place to read, others would love a quite place like a library. Choose a place that suites you the best and start reading.
- Trying too hard to read too fast – read at your most comfortable speed. No point finishing fast but not remembering anything.
- Reading when you’re tired. It’s a common knowledge that reading does help put you to sleep, well at least for some. So if the bed looks more enticing than the book, try not to force yourself to read and get some rest.
- Jumping to a new book without finishing your current one. Try not to make this as a habit as you might develop new bad habits along with it. You might tend to skip chapters or important areas of the book just to complete one. Identify the reasons why you decide to start a new one and if it’s not too complicated, give the old book another try with a different approach. Maybe it’s just the environment or you’re just too tired.
- Getting too excited / anxious when approaching the next chapter or ending. Stop reading for a minute, take a deep breath and try to go with a normal pace when approaching exciting areas of a book. The excitement is totally understandable, but there’s no point getting over excited and ended up not really knowing what really happened.
- Letting yourself to be distracted. You’ll tend to come across scenarios, even words which you can relate and suddenly your attention span goes down the drain, imagining things in the past, etc. This is something unavoidable but if you can minimize it to a level that it does not affect your overall reading experience, it should be OK.
- Not setting up yourself correctly for your reading session. If you still have some errands to run or things that you should be doing, get them done so that you’ll have a peace of mind when you start reading. If your mind is not set to read, chances are you’ll be distracted most of the time while reading.
- Easily influenced by other recommendations. As much as it helps with your next round of adventures, ultimately what you will enjoy reading will depend on your range of interest. Take recommendations as points of reference but do not force yourself to read it just because it has overwhelmingly good set of reviews.
- Giving up too soon. Let’s face it, not all of us are great readers with excellent reading comprehension levels. What’s important is that you immerse yourself with the essence of the story and ultimately what you experience is much more important than how fast you read or how many books you complete in a week.
- Learning to let it go. If the book you’re reading doesn’t exactly suite your fancy, don’t push yourself too hard. Stop, let it rest, continue at a later date or in certain circumstances, you can even start with a new short book. A new book provides somewhat a new fresh perspective with its approach or writing style and this might recharge yourself to give that book you’re struggling with another chance.
- Not allowing yourself to express openly while reading. If you come across something funny, laugh. Something sad? A few drop of tears shouldn’t hurt. Of course try not to be over dramatic with the situation.
- Allowing yourself to succumb to peer pressure. If you’re within a group of friends or a reading club, always try to go at your own pace and make decisions based on your reading style and speed. Don’t feel pressured just because your reading buddies are reading way faster and more books than you. Trying to keep up with their pace will only get you demotivated in the end.