Let's talk. Look, I understand...Reading simply isn't fun for most us.
When it comes to how we spend our down time, Netflix is easier, more entertaining. Social media is easier, more entertaining. Video games are easier, more entertaining. Hell, these days, even watching the news is easier and more entertaining.
🚨 Before you sound the heretic alarm, hear me out. Yes, I co-founded a book company. Yes, I am a habitual reader. Yes, I find reading entertaining. But, this has not always been true. And, I want to speak to the people that stand where I once stood. Not from the perspective as someone better than, but as someone who wishes a message like this was relayed to me years ago.
I'm not blind to reality—a reality in which most people view reading as a chore, something they know they should do, but don't enjoy and, therefore, only do when necessary. And, I'm not here to dismiss this general sentiment surrounding the act of reading. I'm not here to convince you that reading, despite how you feel about it, is really a pleasant experience.
Because, while that may sound idealistic, for many of you, the words reading and pleasant are distant cousins, or maybe not even in the same family. And, that's okay!
Of course, I could speak 'till I'm blue in the face, trying to convey to you that reading is actually something you really could grow fond of, something you could really enjoy, if you just got into the habit—after all, this was my progression, reading until it became a hobby, then habit. I could share with you tips and tricks to read more, reasons why reading is beneficial, topical book recommendations. Yet, the underlying fact remains...you don't want to read.
So, before any of these tips, benefits, or recommendations can become relevant, the desire to read must be addressed first. And, my solution is far from scientific, and even less attached to our innate desire for ease and comfort.
You should want to read because it is the right thing to do.
You should want to read because it is the right thing to do! While, I wish, I really wish that I could convert everyone into a lover of books, try as I might, this will never happen. My conversion from non-reader to reader is not a universally applicable progression. However, what I can do is tap into everyone's internal desire to be a reader. We all wish, if we're not already, to be seen as someone who enjoys and devours books. We all wish to be more intelligent, imaginative, creative, empathetic, informed, and layered.
Well, isn't it time we stop wishing and start doing? Reading is the right thing to do—we all know it! We can inherit all of these valuable qualities if we just do what is required. It's not unlike going to the gym, where short-term discomfort is sacrificed for long-term goals.
So, yes, in summary, reading may suck. It may feel like a chore. But, it's time we suck it up and do what we know to be the right thing. I'm not saying you have to enjoy reading, as much as I wish you did. I'm urging you to find the desire to open up that book sitting by your bed if for no other reason than because you know you should. We all want to be readers, so go through the struggle to become one.
As Napoleon Hill once said, "strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle." Get stronger. Grow into the person you want to be.