LTB: Why don’t people read?

This week’s question comes to us from(Mikaela @ Mikaela Reads) who asks:

What do you think puts people off reading? If you had to recommend a book to someone that you think would turn them into a reader, what would it be? Have you every been a non-reader and then been converted??

I’m writing this from my parents’ home, at the tail end of a Christmas celebration. I discussed this question last night with my roommate and a good friend, and they offered some perspectives.

A popular reason seemed to be that we have become conditioned to pretty immediate gratification. TikTok delivers endorphin hits every two minutes. The Internet is always delivering us an easy-to-read article that we can scan in three or four minutes. Video games offer a constant barrage of wins.

Given that, who wants to dedicate two days…or two weeks…to the same story?

As to what I recommend to non-readers, I think that an accessible thriller is always a good call. The Firm is one that I have had moderate success with. I think that a book that can suck them in quickly and not let up on the gas for one second is the key to showing someone that reading can be as much fun as surfing the net.

Have I been converted? Nope. I was born a reader, born to two generations of readers, born already owning books, and as the first grandchild on either side of the family, born with plenty of people who wanted to read to me. When I was a toddler, I’d scribble on a piece of paper, and take it to one of my parents and ask them if there were any words in there. I wanted to read before I really knew what it was.

And it’s 50+ years later, and here we are.

So, what about you, dear reader? Were you always a reader, or did you have a conversion experience? I’ll take your testimony in the comments.

8 thoughts on “LTB: Why don’t people read?

  1. I was always a reader. My dad passed away when I was young, and one of my only memories of him is reading us bedtime stories. I remember getting an award in grade 2, because I read every book in the class library. I read to my kids and one is a reader, the other is coming back to it. I read to my grandkids whenever I can. I hope they continue to enjoy reading in later life. 💞📚

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  2. I was always a reader, even though I’m dyslexic. So when my teachers decided I was a “lazy reader” because I read slower than average, and “forced” me to read books during the summer vacation, I was thrilled with the prospect (hehehe… fooled them. I hated doing summer sports, and being outside in the humid heat, and loved being inside with the AC on and reading)!

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  3. Definitely, always a reader. I did drift away from it when my children were little and for a good 10 years or so maybe only read 2 or 3 books a year, though I did read magazines and newspapers too.

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  4. Always a reader. Read to when I was a child, there were always books around to read and I had a library card starting at a very young age. (It was a bit distressing when in my thirties that childhood library card finally got worn to the point the barcode could no longer be scanned and it had to be replaced)

    As a child, and even up into teenage years there were limits on my TV (and later computer) time, but very few limits on reading time; and I read a lot. And got faster at it; which let me devour even more books. Books from the library, books I bought or was gifted, dad’s old childhood books that got handed down (Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr, Rick Brant) my parents’ various books (lots of classic sci-fi and fantasy; but also things like Victorian engineering, trains, westerns [though I never got much into the later])

    But, probably because I don’t really understand why people don’t enjoy reading I don’t think I’ve had success in book recommendations for non-readers.

    Liked by 1 person

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