Social Question

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Why would someone hate to read?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38937points) April 4th, 2010

People who hate to read scare me – but I want to know if you can give me reasons to turn my fears into understanding…what can be a reason why someone (maybe someone you know/knew) would hate to read (inability to read NOT being a reason – that’s an obvious sociological response)? As a secondary question: what have books done for you in your life? I know, for me, reading has provided incredible relief in times of darkness.

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74 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I think people who claim to hate to read probably have a hard time reading, either because of frank illiteracy, or dyslexia,or some other learning disability.

Pandora's avatar

because they are bad at it or can’t read, or simply where never taught to appreciate it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Pandora Did your parents teach you to appreciate reading?

Pandora's avatar

Yes and no. My parents taught my siblings and they taught me to appreciate it. We didn’t have a lot of games and we weren’t allowed to watch a lot of tv. We all loved comic books.

snowberry's avatar

My husband has to work at it. He doesn’t hate it, but it’s not on his list of favorite activities. Me, on the other hand, I read everything I get my hands on.

If someone hates to read, it might be due to bad experiences as a child (being teased because of trouble reading), hence a mental block. It might hurt their eyes, or remind them of a relative who pushed them so hard, now they hate to do it. There are a few ideas for you.

Me, I don’t like to watch TV, and I rarely go see a movie. Now how do you explain that?

netgrrl's avatar

You mean people who don’t read purely for pleasure?

My son was diagnosed as having an “unspecified language disability” and as a result, reading for him is a chore. He does it when he has to, his vocabulary is very good, but it’s not his favorite mode of learning.

I’m with you, it’s often difficult for me to communicate with people who simply don’t read at all for pleasure. For one thing, it cuts out at least ¼ of my topics. LOL Since a lot of the world at most reads one book a year, that’s a lot of people.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Might there be other reasons for hating to read other than learning disabilities and ‘conditions’ (because I understand those as reasons)?

palbertq's avatar

Because I do not find it enjoyable. When I read novels or textbooks, I find myself having to reread lines over and over.

yoshiboshi's avatar

I actually hate to read novels. I can read informational books, but when it comes to novels, I die. Maybe it has to do with patience? I don’t know. But I can read a good book packed with information. Just not if it is a story.

I know some one who hates to read, simply because it has become an obligation. It is no longer enjoyable. It is merely something you have to do. That is when a person will hate to read.

Of course, there are also those who hate to read because they lack an ability to understand certain material. If they find out that in order to understand what they are reading, they are going to need to have either previous knowledge of something or have to research it, they will become bored with reading. Thus, I would say, those who lack knowledge hate reading.

Parrappa's avatar

Maybe because they never found something they actually enjoyed reading? All throughout high school I’ve read all these “classics” yet I’ve never enjoyed any of them and certainly would not read them in my free time. I’ve only read a couple of books that I truly enjoyed.

Sarcasm's avatar

Uh..
I feel like you’re putting reading on some kind of pedestal alongside breathing, eating, and sleeping, where it’s universally appreciated.

Reading is just like any other hobby. Writing poetry. Playing sports. Making music. Playing computer games. Smoking pot.
Some people enjoy it. Other people don’t.

I don’t enjoy it. It’s uninteresting and boring (was that redundant?) to me. I’m a capable reader, I can read books just fine if I have some inspiration for it. There are just other things that I find much more interesting.

anartist's avatar

bad eyesight, dyslexia, hyperactivity, ADD, or a preference for another medium that leaves less to the imaginatiion [tv, film].

The computer is a real crossover—does the person who hates to read enjoy surfing

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sarcasm Oh absolutely – I am examining my own bias which is about expecting people to enjoy reading and to want read – this is why I’m asking the q.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I absolutely love to read, even though I’m 13 in this techno world (don’t get me wrong – I love technology. It’s just that nothing compares to having a real book). I take a book and go in this walk-in closet in our house (it’s very cozy and there’s all these books and antiques in there. If there’s one thing that describes my family and house and life, it’s that closet) or out in the woods. It puts me in another world and time. I feel like I can see and hear the people I’m reading about. I just feel sorry for people who don’t like reading. Not reading deprives you of so much stuff.

dpworkin's avatar

I have the experience of my son to go by He “hated” to read until he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Once he learned the proper skills, he loved to read, and has been a avid reader for the last 10 years.

Pandora's avatar

I think a bad experience may influence people as well. In 8th grade I would tutor the 3rd graders. There was one kid who hated to read. After watching him with the classroom teacher I noticed she had no patience and made him feel dumb for being a slow reader. I convinced the teacher to let me handle his reading. Once I help booster his confidence his reading skills came up well passed expectations and then his interest for reading increased. If left to that teacher who had already labeled him as dumb, he would never get interested in reading. He probably would’ve continued to hate it.

LeotCol's avatar

I think that reading involves patience and time. Some people feel like they do not have one or the other. This probably leads to frustration and associate books and reading with this problem.

I’m really just guessing though. I love to read, though its hard when I have a laptop here at my fingertips 12/7.

TexasDude's avatar

There is a strong anti-intellectual sentiment among people these days. Reading is seen (especially among certain youths) as a sign of snooty high-brow intellect which just isn’t “cool.”

Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this cloud. The publishing industry is currently booming and readership is at a record high, which is great, considering the shitty economy.

ThrallKiller's avatar

Wow, I can’t imagine not reading. I prefer fiction though, because sometimes I feel like I need to escape from stress and just sink into a good story.

Vunessuh's avatar

I truly dislike reading.
I loved English class, but I couldn’t stand reading any of the assigned novels. I rarely would and ended up flunking most of the tests. I haven’t found very many books that have the ability to hold my attention. Reading for pleasure is out of the question. Whenever I try, I keep thinking that I can be doing something 10’s more productive. So I stop reading and do it. There are 62389 other things more entertaining to me. However, being a screenwriter, there are several novels that I would love to have the rights to so I can rewrite them into a screenplay. These novels were incredibly entertaining. I haven’t found very many others quite like them.

My reasoning has nothing to do with a disability. I read quite well actually. While I think many of these answers are accurate for some people, some of them make the majority of non-readers, sound shallow, impatient and uneducated. Seeking entertainment through another medium doesn’t mean we would prefer something that leaves less to the imagination, for starters. While reading does involve having both time and patience, someone who doesn’t like to read, can still easily have both.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir “I am examining my own bias which is about expecting people to enjoy reading and to want read”.
Does that mean I should expect you to enjoy writing and want to write because I am a writer and happen to enjoy it? Does the same apply for people who paint or play sports? Reading is a hobby. I’ve just found other hobbies that are way more enjoyable. Why should I be expected to like it because the majority does? And if I don’t, why do there have to be reasons dissecting who we are as people? Why can’t somebody just not enjoy something?

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@ThrallKiller Yes! That’s exactly it!!

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

I think some people are unable or very uncomfortable sitting still and quiet for that long.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Vunessuh I don’t know if you should expect me to write – this isn’t so much about expecting but wondering why…you, as a writer, can see benefits to writing that you may want others to understand…I, as a reader, want others to understand why it’s beneficial and, in turn, want to understand why someone would say they hate to read in the kind of way that makes a judgment on me – I disagree that it’s like any other hobby like smoking pot (as @Sarcasm put it) but that’s a personal opinion – clearly, you don’t have to agree…and why am I asking? it’s fluther, it came up as a question in my head, I figured others can teach me something – why are you being defensive, automatically?

absalom's avatar

People seem to develop an aversion to reading when it’s assigned as schoolwork. I am this way, and will put off reading assigned work to read something I prefer.

Another problem is that teachers are often incompetent. They say, ‘This is what this book means, no matter what,’ or, ‘This is a great work of literature and you have to enjoy it,’ or, ‘This is how you’re supposed to read and engage with and respond to books, and this is how you’re supposed to be critical, and if you’re not doing it this way then you’re doing it wrong.’

But they are wrong. When in elementary school students are asked to write book reports, which are just tedious summaries, it shouldn’t be surprising that they develop a ‘hatred’ for or indifference to reading. Reading becomes a means instead of an end: a means to write the assigned book report, so that the focus is on the boring/ unwanted assignment instead of on the text itself.

Still another problem is the notion that reading is anachronistic. Well-meaning though she was, @ChocolateReigns kind of shows this when she says that she loves to read, despite being in a “techno world” – as though technology and books somehow don’t go together.

I don’t really believe most people anymore when they say they hate reading (as in the act of, generally). Especially today, with the Internet and texting and whatever, reading is practically unavoidable. It just seems that people are only reading the things that are directly relevant to them: text messages, Wikipedia articles for which they entertain a (very) brief interest, blogs that cater to their cookie-cutter lifestyles, and so on.

I feel like this means that, in some sense, people are no longer being challenged by what they read, but only affirmed in their beliefs, their lifestyles, etc. It’s like a loop, and people maybe have just lost interest today in reading things that don’t tell them exactly what they want to hear (i.e., read).

This makes me feel pretty depressed.

The most popular book today is Facebook, and no one reads the shit you put under the “About me” section; they look at your pictures. Most people I know don’t put anything under their “Favorite books” section, either, but they’re happy to fill their “Quotations” part with famous statements made by authors they don’t know, in works they’ve never read….

But now I’m just digressing, and probably only one in like six people has read this far (sorry).

For your secondary question: reading books (especially fiction) has helped me to understand life better, although the purpose was never to understand life better.

@Vunessuh: A writer who doesn’t read? Only today.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@crankywithakeyboard for how long, though? does reading involve long periods of time?

ThrallKiller's avatar

@ChocolateReigns Awesome, someone agrees! I just can’t get into self help books or books that want to teach me something, at least not right now. I’ve got a lot on my plate with 2 kids and just life in general. If I’m going to read a book, I want to be sucked into someone else’s life, someone’s happily ever after, or a nice murder mystery in which protagonist gets antagonist in the end… I need books that make me forget my worries for a while.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I wasn’t being defensive. Sorry you took it that way. I was asking those questions to prove a point. Yes, some people believe reading is beneficiary, but some people believe writing and other art forms are beneficiary as well. If someone dislikes something, I don’t think it means they automatically don’t appreciate it or don’t have the patience for it. Some people just flat out don’t like something. I think it’s a waste of time, but I don’t tell you you’re wasting your time because you enjoy it. To each his own.

@absalom I don’t read books. I do read screenplays, but if they don’t pull me in within the first five pages, I set them aside. There are plenty of screenwriters who do not read, some of which don’t enjoy it. We prefer to write the stories, not read someone else’s work. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Vunessuh I don’t think you can just hate reading for no reason – because it’s not like ice cream that you can taste and it turns you off if you don’t like vanilla, for example – because there are thousands of books out there and other written work that isn’t the exact same thing – so to say one hates reading is to say more than just “I don’t like vanilla ice cream”, don’t you think?

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not so sure why this is so difficult to comprehend. As with anything, some people will like it while others do not. What’s the big deal?

Vunessuh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I agree with you, but my argument stems from the fact that almost everyone in this thread has given reasons to indicate that there must be something wrong with people who don’t like to read. Frankly, that’s horseshit.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tinyfaery It’s not a big deal, does it sound like a big deal? I just wanted to deepen my understanding on the topic – sorry it’s not stimulating to you – I’ll make sure you to ask something really important to you next time…maybe pm me suggestions
@Vunessuh I think they were giving conditions but I don’t think, to me, those conditions means ‘wrong’, personally.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Guys, off to sleep – will respond to all tomorrow

SeventhSense's avatar

I think for some it’s the requirement aspect of it. It’s like eating brussel sprouts for some people. For example, “You should read this.” “This is important etc.” I think also, many may have not been encouraged to have a strong inner dialogue. Essentially reading is in essence an introverted approach to life. It’s listening to another’s thought but filtered through the construct of one’s own application to that thought through a subjective re-imagining of their words. The imagination of the voice of the narrator. The reconsideration of the material in one’s own life experience or current knowledge. The capacity to reconfigure that material to assimilate with one’s own understanding. These are all highly abstract and inner mental processes that presuppose that these things were encouraged and likewise not discouraged in a person’s life.

Some people were not encouraged or taught to appreciate this. Maybe they were taught to exclusively deal with life through interactive involvement, athletics, or interpersonal drama. Many don’t realize that there are many possibilities as per the written word and many voices. Many of these people can assimilate ideas very well through listening at lectures or film etc. I don’t think that there is any greater capacity for innate intelligence in those of either camp. Of course the reader can be exposed to far greater range of ideas with less effort but the interpersonal one can be involved in a different way with ideas as well as people.

Personally I like to read a range of different things but as I’ve gotten older I gravitate towards non fiction. When I was younger it used to be far more of an escape or a respite from life. It can still be that for me with a good novel but more likely at this point I find myself reading for information. Yet the writing style is still significant for me. If the writing style is overly dry my eyes tend to glaze over and I lose interest. There is just so much to read that there’s no reason to believe that I have to receive it in any given shape or form. It’s a journey that’s found through the process and my knowledge will never be complete even in a lifetime.

lfino's avatar

My daughter isn’t much of a reader. She doesn’t like to sit still that long. And I’m talking about the length of an article that I might point out to her that I know would interest her. She has no problem reading the words, she doesn’t have a vision problem, and she was read to as a child. It’s just something that doesn’t interest her. I learned how to read very early and very quickly and always enjoyed it. I can spend an entire morning reading the Sunday paper, and can read books in a day, so it’s nothing I passed on to her. It’s just not an interest of hers.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve tried to understand this about my sister-in-law. She’s a person who likes to spend a lot of time in personal interaction—visiting, doing things with friends, talking on the phone, engaging in activities. I don’t really know why she doesn’t read, except that perhaps reading means giving up something she’d rather do.

For my part, spending much time on those things would mean giving up things I’d rather do, such as reading.

Sarcasm's avatar

@Simone_De_BeauvoirI don’t think you can just hate reading for no reason – because it’s not like ice cream that you can taste and it turns you off if you don’t like vanilla, for example – because there are thousands of books out there and other written work that isn’t the exact same thing – so to say one hates reading is to say more than just “I don’t like vanilla ice cream”, don’t you think?
I know you weren’t addressing me, but I disagree.
Certainly, it is possible to hate vanilla ice cream, or to hate romance novels, and it is possible to be lactose intolerant, or be dyslexic.

But you don’t think it’s possible to simply not enjoy a frozen dairy treat, or to not enjoy staring at words on a page?

gemiwing's avatar

I think part of it can come down to how people visualize.

In my experience, people who don’t enjoy reading can’t see the ‘picture’ in their heads. It’s simply words strung together that tell a story. So, for them a passage that describes the beautiful countryside would be torture, in a sense. From those I’ve talked to they hate description, inner monologue, and such because it’s stopping the story and is pointless because they aren’t visualizing the words in the same way as someone who enjoys reading would.

When I read, after about ten minutes, I no longer ‘see’ the words on the page. I’m suddenly seeing the words in my head as actions, colors etc. In essence reading, for me, is akin to watching a movie that I direct in my head. If I didn’t do this (from dyslexia/disability what have you) then reading would be a bore beyond belief.

thriftymaid's avatar

I think some people don’t like to be still and quiet for long periods. People who read slowly don’t usually enjoy it as much.

Vunessuh's avatar

I’m just trying to offer other reasoning behind someone’s lack of interest in reading, that doesn’t involve a direct or indirect negation. Everyone’s reasons here are great and definitely true for some people, but no one really offered anything that didn’t have the possibility of making non-readers sound shallow, uneducated, ignorant or unappreciative of the medium (excluding learning disabilities because that is understandable.)
I think it’s perfectly understandable that someone doesn’t like to read because they find the activity tedious or uninteresting. I think it’s understandable that they find plenty of other activities more fulfilling than reading. Perhaps they have plenty of other things they enjoy and would choose them over reading. You said that reading is beneficiary, which I completely agree with, but plenty of other mediums and art forms are beneficiary as well. People can benefit and be fulfilled in other ways. For example, I can easily visualize the words from a novel and create that imagery in my head, so I’m not lacking any imagination, but I would rather utilize my imagination in other ways, hence, I write and am able to fill this need by doing something else. It doesn’t mean that we’re missing something within ourselves because we won’t sit down with a book. It’s also not safe to assume that because we dislike to read, that we must surf the web or prefer to socialize on Facebook or watch tv instead – that those are the only alternatives we have. What crap.
I guess where you have a hard time understanding why someone doesn’t enjoy reading, I have a hard time understanding why someone simply can’t enjoy it because other optional life activities are simply more important and appealing to us.
Either way, I think you do have a valid question, but you did say that you “expect people to enjoy reading and to want to read” which tells me that you have a hard time fathoming why someone wouldn’t, if you expect it. I’ve never expected someone to enjoy something just because I happen to enjoy it, no matter how popular the activity is. Reading (books, the newspaper, etc.) is a choice, not something we have to do so I wonder why someone can’t dislike something that isn’t mandatory without others assuming that that person may be ignorant, impatient, unappreciative, etc. of that particular activity.

Just_Justine's avatar

Ooh nice question! As a much younger person I could not think of doing anything better. I will say though I would read two novels at a time, and not easy going ones either. I think six years of university notes, coupled with on going study for 15 years in a subject I find terribly boring has put me off. Now I hardly ever read. Unless I am studying.

However I did buy a book the other day, I read very fast, which is not good that is why my grammar sucks and my spelling leaves a lot to be desired. But reading has lost it’s joy for me due to a bombardment of the written word daily. Now I just like pictures!!

Vunessuh's avatar

Oh, and beneficiary = beneficial. I phucked up. :)

le_inferno's avatar

Some people might have a hard time keeping their mind focused, since reading a book requires concentration, comprehension, and imagination. More simple minded people prefer to be bombarded by flashing images and sound so that their brain doesn’t need to do anything.

Brian1946's avatar

@Vunessuh

“I truly dislike reading.”

Really? I got the impression that you like reading “dead baby” jokes. ;-)

Vunessuh's avatar

@Brian1946 Jokes and books are not the same thing, silly. Besides, dead baby jokes have the ability to catch and hold my attention. XD

DominicX's avatar

My boyfriend doesn’t like to read very often. People probably would make the assumption that it’s because he’s “dumb”. Getting to know him, you’d find that completely untrue. He is far from dumb and he’s an extremely interesting person. He’s very artistically talented and it’s not like he can’t read and it’s not like he never reads, just not very often because it is not one of his favorite things to do. He’d much rather draw or mountain bike or listen to music. Now, there are definitely books that he’s read and liked and we’ve talked about them before. There just aren’t as many. In fact, he’s read a few interesting books that are more philosophical in nature and interest me quite a bit. (One of which I am currently reading and loving).

Books are important to me. They have inspired me countless times. They have inspired my life in general, shaped my outlook on life, inspired my writing, moved me emotionally, I absolutely adore them.

Sure, maybe I can’t fully understand it because I do like reading so much, but I certainly don’t think people who don’t enjoy reading are below me. It’s true that as someone who wants to be a writer, there are certain things that I won’t be able to connect to with someone who doesn’t enjoy reading, but again, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people like this, just different.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Vunessuh
no one really offered anything that didn’t have the possibility of making non-readers sound shallow
I don’t think I did that. I appreciate that people have multiple intelligences and skills that are equally important. I think you may be reading more into the answers then is there..pardon the pun

Still reading and language are indispensable to intelligence in many forms. There is hardly a university course, advanced degree or chosen career path of any kind that does not require significant reading. That doesn’t mean that one can’t do many things and have many successful experiences in life apart from being a bookworm but it expresses depth and breadth if one is willing to venture into subject matter at a level that is more than cursory. No one would respect a doctor or a lawyer who was not well versed in his area of expertise. A passing comment like “Hey that’s like a rash or something”, or “hey you like broke the law” from one’s doctor or attorney would surely alarm even the most tolerant among us. We expect them to have an understanding that is deep.

Now as far as the average layman we might not need to have a complete grasp of the physical sciences, chemistry, biology, mathematics, astronomy and Western literature. But reading can only broaden our world and certainly only adds to the depth of our understanding. It helps if one is discussing Platonic thought to have knowledge of what Plato’s ideas represented. If I raise the concept of Hegelian dialectic and its role in our discussions on Fluther it surely can’t hurt to know who Hegel was and his philosophy. So yes on the one hand one can’t say that a non reader is by necessity shallow, but on the other hand an extensive and varied reader will only add to the depth and breadth of their understanding.

Vunessuh's avatar

@SeventhSense The question is about why someone would hate to read, not why people like to or choose to read. I’m not lacking any depth because my hobbies exclude sitting down with a book and I never questioned why people enjoy reading. In turn, when people list all of these profound reasons for why reading is important, it makes non-readers appear as if they’re lacking depth or patience or substance or intelligence, when that wasn’t the question. So that’s what I was responding to and in turn gave reasons that aren’t detrimental in any way as to why someone doesn’t enjoy reading.

Vunessuh's avatar

Oh, and I think I’m referring more to reading for pleasure rather than reading for information or because it’s important to study a subject in which you plan to have a career in.
I did research on the topics of drugs, psychology, disorders, etc. for over a year for one of my screenplays and it involved mucho reading. I enjoyed the process and learned a lot. I’m just not interested in spending time reading a sci-fi novel or a romance novel. It’s not appealing to me. However, I’m a stickler for having my information as accurate as shit when I’m writing so I will research the hell out of something to be sure.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Vunessuh
Yes-“reading for pleasure” I think that this is an assumption that is being made. But general knowledge, current events, a foundation for thought are all reasons to be well versed in reading as well. The canon of Western literature was once thought to be indispensable to the educated person along with the Grand Tour of Europe etc. and I think we may have gone too far the other way.
She also says,
“As a secondary question: what have books done for you in your life?”

Vunessuh's avatar

Yes, I based my answers on someone who dislikes reading (sci-fi, romance, mystery, horror novels) for pleasure. I read for general knowledge every time I do research for a screenplay. I won’t disagree with you on the importance of that.
However, some people said, “I don’t understand why someone doesn’t enjoy reading because…” and they listed reasons that made us sound unappreciative of the medium, shallow or lacking some kind of substance, as if there is absolutely no other way to obtain knowledge or depth or that we choose to sit in front of the television instead, as if that’s the only other alternative we have. That’s what bothered me and is what I responded to. I provided reasons that had no room for negation. Aside from @Sarcasm with his incredibly valid answer, no one else really did that, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think anyone else’s answers aren’t true for some individuals.

My thing is, what’s wrong with not liking something because you simply aren’t interested in it, without others thinking you’re rejecting the chance to gain knowledge or depth…

SeventhSense's avatar

@Vunessuh
There’s nothing wrong with it until one decides that there is something wrong with it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX Never said people who hate to read are below me – just that I don’t get why

Ivan's avatar

I wouldn’t say I hate reading, but I certainly don’t enjoy it. I wish I did, I’ve bought several books that I’ve wanted to read, but I never get past page 100 or so. I don’t know why, I really just don’t derive any enjoyment from it. I’m a capable reader; I read at a college level in middle school (or so the tests told me), but I have no motivation whatsoever to sit down with a book.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ivan Can you come up with any reasons for it?

Ivan's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I guess I can speculate. I’m a math/science guy; I prefer numbers and equations to words and paragraphs. When I read, it takes me a very long time. I read each word individually, and I don’t move on to the next paragraph until I fully understand what I just read. That’s what you have to do in math; you have to be very details-oriented and organized. When I read, I don’t look for literary themes, I don’t care about characterization, I don’t care about the author’s use of imagery and metaphors, etc. I just care about the strict sequence of events in the story, or what information the author is trying to get across. It’s all about information to me, and I guess plain information isn’t all that entertaining.

I will say that I’ve found one fiction author that I can tolerate: Michael Crichton. He tells stories with people like me in mind. Lots of details, lots of science, it gets to the point, etc. Too bad he’s dead now.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ivan You would love Neil Stephenson – start with Cryptonomicon

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I think people may confuse joy about other media with what they expect to receive from all media – the instant gratification of a movie is rarely there in a book. Early reading seems to have a direct link to later love of it.

kenmc's avatar

They’re like Will Smith’s parents. They just don’t understand.

^ is the only thing I could come up with after reading the above answers and seeing all of my thoughts on the subject have been said already.

bob_'s avatar

I like to read interesting, well-written pieces. I hate to read the walls of text some people write.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Vunessuh
The problem is that sarcasm is wrong. It is not like any other hobby and should not be equated as such. It’s intrinsic to all advanced civilizations. Equating it to smoking pot is just ignorant and only tickles the fancy of the unconvinced.

Sarcasm's avatar

@SeventhSense Okay, sure, we’ll assume for now that reading is necessary in advanced civilizations.
What does that have to do with a love of reading?
I’m sure you pay taxes, but you do not necessarily enjoy doing so.
I’m sure you run places, but you do not necessarily love running.
I’m sure you drive places, but no not necessarily consider it to be a hobby of yours.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Sarcasm
A love equates to a desire. A desire is a motivation for something. We don’t do things better nor more proficiently if we don’t like doing them. At least not for any length of time. The student in the classroom who is internally motivated to read as opposed to the one who is forced to read is going to be the one who reads and the one who garners greater understanding through his self motivation.
I don’t need to love to drive to in order to get across town, but I need to love to drive if I am going to win at Nascar.
I don’t need to love to run if I’m going to exercise but if I’m going to break the 4 minute mile I need to love to run.
I don’t need to love to pay taxes in order to file my return but if I’m going to be a world class CPA then I need to love crunching numbers.
Instilling or encouraging a passion for anything is integral for an advancement in that endeavor but instilling a passion for reading is integral for advancing in any field. It is far more than a hobby or a concept. If knowledge were a tree it would be the trunk from which the branches develop.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sarcasm I can ask you, as well, what does any of what you mention have to do with the hate of reading?

mattbrowne's avatar

Literacy skills are another factor.

oxside's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I used to consider myself as a person who ‘hates’ to read. But after reading ever comment on this post, I believe that from this point forward I will say “I don’t enjoy reading”, instead of “I hate reading”. I think most people who claim to hate to read would likely say the same thing. As others have assumed, it’s reading for pleasure that most people ‘hate’ or do not enjoy. I think if you look at the posts here you find your answer, but it’s a shocking one. Extending part of what @absalom said, defining “hate” then I think most people don’t qualify anymore. If one hates something, they have an intense dislike for it at all times no matter the reason. As with the ice cream example above, one may hate vanilla ice cream because it taste bad. Taste is something that’s mostly constant, granted it can change over time, for that individual. However, to have a constant hate for reading is truly almost impossible. I am an IT Network Engineer and my job involves reading to keep up with the latest technology and about features of new software to determine if it work on my network and etc. Reading about that is something I enjoy. But you’ll never see me pick up a novel and start reading it. Why? Because it’s not enjoyable to me. Neither is reading about history, poetry, fiction, or pretty much any other topic. Secondly, as others have said, the time it takes you to read a novel, I could have configured a brand new Cisco router and installed a few new servers on my network, or worked on my ‘toy’ car(96 z28 camaro with over 400hp at the wheels). Point is, I have other things I want to do instead of reading. Almost everyone enjoys reading something, whether it is Facebook, books about computers, screenplays, astronomy, automobiles, or research of any topic that interests them. Therefore I’m going to say that people who say they hate to read, are people who consider “reading” the act of reading big thick books that takes up too of their time, but if you poke hard enough you’ll discover that there is something that they actually enjoy reading. @Ivan had probably the best response to a reason to date. But even he found an author he enjoys reading.

Note: I have intentionally excluded the obvious, that people with learning/reading disabilities will probably always ‘hate’ to read.

@SeventhSense, You’re last statement is wrong, sorry. Instilling a passion for reading is NOT an integral part for advancing in any field. Just like in my situation, I have to read about the latest and greatest to be the best I can be at my job but by no means do I need a passion for reading to successfully advance in my chosen industry career. I have advanced this far without a passion for reading. ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@oxside Good thing I don’t hate to read ‘cause that answer was long, :)~

oxside's avatar

lol, well sorry to bring up an old post but there were many comments and after reading them all there I felt there was much to be said. ;)

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
I was thinking the exact same thing while chuckling at the irony.

I can see the ad now
Wanted: A partner who accepts me for not reading but loves to read what I write

oxside's avatar

@SeventhSense, you should start a dating service! Thanks for the tip! If I ever get divorced I’ll know how to better explain what I’m looking for in a woman. :)

When you’re ready to get that company going let me know and I’ll build you’re website at a discounted rate.

SeventhSense's avatar

@oxside
We could call it Narcissists Anonymous.

anun77's avatar

@gemiwing Just the answer I was looking for! I am 33 and everyone in my house enjoys reading fiction except for me. They can sit down and read a book in no time. I have trouble getting my kids to go to sleep at night because they have their nose in a book. Last night for the very first time, during a discussion with my husband, I realized that they are getting something out of it that I am not. They can actually see pictures playing out in their heads! So there is a real concrete reason why it takes me about 3hrs to read 60 pages of fiction and why I feel it is a total waste of time! I also prefer science and concrete, tangilble things. I have no appreciation for the abstract I am afraid. I am an excellent artist. . .I am terrific at transferring the world around me into 2d graphite on paper that looks as though it is a black and white photo. An empty headed copy machine of sorts I suppose. lol I don’t see things in my dreams really either. More emotions than anything and blurry kind of stuff like when tv’s used to have antennas and all you got was fuzz and an occasional picture. Mine is probably not the best explanation, but your post is the closest I have come across to describing what I am experiencing. I hope this spreads a little light on the subject.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

The person might find reading boring. Maybe he or she prefers visuals or something else over reading words.

snowberry's avatar

You also might want to consider the issue of learning style. People who enjoy reading have a different learning style than those who hate it. It’s a fact of life that not every brain is the same, and it’s unrealistic, and certainly insensitive to expect that every person should love to read. Some folks won’t ever be able to learn to read, let alone learn to love it! Here’s the question that covers learning style…
http://www.fluther.com/137482/have-any-flutherites-had-great-success-improving-their-reading-skills-by/#quip2334347

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