It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lot of people hate reading. (And all the bookworms weep.)
How could anyone dislike reading? Why would anyone shudder at the thought of fictional worlds and all the fun found there? What is their problem? Are they less intelligent or something? Pfft, no. Intelligence has nothing to do with being a bookworm.
I’ve thought of a few reasons why people legitimately don’t want to pick up books. I think bookworms (in the most stereotypical sense of the phrase) can be really judgemental about these sorts of things, myself included. If people don’t like reading, I tend to think, “What is wrong with you?” But the answer is “Nothing.”
Since school started, I don’t have much time to read. I think that’s one of the big factors that keep people from loving fiction. Time. If you have an all-day commitment like school or work or parenthood, your reading time gets slimmed. A lot.
Bad experiences are another reason.
(I’m putting myself in the shoes of a “You.”) You haven’t read a book for six months, and your best friend is insisting that your read The Lord of the Rings, because it’s just SO GOOD and so epic and detailed and thought-provoking (the psychology!). You might pick it up. You do a mental calculation of how much it weighs. You might think to yourself, “This is going to take a while.” You shrug and open the first page. You might look at the fifty-two-billion different prologues and think, “WHAT?” You might struggle through them, and you’re relieved to get to the first chapter, where you take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “This is where the fun starts! This’ll be good.” And you start reading about Bilbo’s birthday party, but the prose is exactly the same as those prologues, and you just can’t focus and it’s not really working.
That experience isn’t a good immersion into books. It’s a good book, millions of people love it. But if a person isn’t used to reading, let alone heavy stuff, it’ll be a real “huh?” affect. The person might struggle through the book, and think, “Yeah, it was all very well, but it was too hard, and not much fun. I’m just not a book person.”
And then they don’t read again for another six months.
Not-so-great books go with that one, too. The book I’m reading currently isn’t screaming, “COME BACK AND READ ME!” Sure, the world is going to war, and there’s a mystery in the air, but it’s just not a particularly good book (in my eyes.) I want to finish it. But it doesn’t feel like a priority because I’m not having much fun with it. It’s taking me a long time to read.
The thing is, when you stop worrying about reading, and consider that it really doesn’t matter how many books you read in the year, it becomes way more fun. (I’m talking from experience.) I actually feel guilty sometimes if I don’t read enough, which is kind of stupid.
I think it’s just something to be aware of, that people’s indifference for things fictional isn’t a personality flaw. It’s just the way things work for them, like reading is how things work for me.
Mime is currently doing homework. A lot of it. What’s with all the maths? It’s like forty-minutes of it in class isn’t enough or something. Anyway. She made mini apple-pies, which are really good, and she just added Uncommon Criminals to her book stack. She’s excited about it, because if Ally Carter wrote it, it’s going to be good.