How I Make Reading Enjoyable

I believe I made it obvious enough today in class about my reading habits: I don’t have any. Reading for me has always been a chore, something I have to do in order to write an essay, craft an assignment, or participate in class. Of the books I grew up reading throughout junior, middle, and high school, not many fond memories come to mind. I loathed The City of Ember, was extremely confused by The Yellow Wallpaper, and fought off sleep when reading To Kill A Mockingbird. Because of this, I guess I’ve become accustomed to associating reading with hatred and boredom.

However, I recognize its importance. My father has stressed to all his children throughout our lives that reading was the primary avenue through which he learned life’s most crucial lessons and vital information. In more recent years (my time in college), I’ve come to understand books as tools of learning. I discovered that my niche is in the memoir/autobiography genre, having read that of L.A. Reid and Clive Davis this past year. But through this discovery I also came across another: I hate having to actually read. The physical act of cozying up in bed or on the couch and sitting there for hours to read feels unproductive to me. While I know that I am doing something, when at the end of a couple hours I proudly look back at all the pages I’ve read, I still feel this unsettling sentiment that I am wasting my time.

Recently, as Lindsey also vocalized today, I have made a more conscious effort to be more productive in my downtime, finding ways to make mundane and uneventful situations beneficial. My first step towards this ended up being the solution to my disdain towards reading: audiobooks. I speculated that everyday, I probably spend an average of a couple hours listening to music, be it on my commute to classes or my time at the gym. I decided that in order to use this time more effectively, I would listen to audio books. The other day I started Gloria Steinem’s latest book “My Life on the Road.” So far, this strategy has seemed to combat my hatred for sitting down and reading while simultaneously achieving my goal of using my time effectively. I’m still grappling with the large time investment that books demand, however I truly hope that I become fonder of reading, or rather listening to, books. Because, I genuinely value learning and recognize books as an essential piece of that puzzle.

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