How do I get myself to read books?

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    • #110281

      I am a 20 year old woman with ADD. I’d really love to read books, as books are full of wisdom and knowledge. But I just can’t get myself to read books. I’ve got a lot of books to read. I either start a book and then just leave it after few pages even though I like it, or I just don’t pick up the book at all, thinking that I should one day, but that one day never comes even after years. But I do really wanna read it and I love it. I can read several articles on the internet, but not books. How do I get myself to read books? Any tips please? Also, why am I not able to read books, but can read so many articles? Is it something related to ADD?

    • #110285

      ADD lady here too. Reading is one of my hyperfocus things and I love book reading. But it was much easier (and I did way more of it) before I had my own laptop and discovered the internet. Got a smartphone later, and that made it even more difficult.

      Thing is, such easy instant access to everything online makes your phone the path of least resistance for your brain getting its hit. Books used to be the easiest.

      I’ve slowly been pushing myself to spend more time during evenings to read books and not read on my phone. Make a rule for yourself that you’ll not go to the internet after 8 or so, and then if you want to be entertained, the next easiest way to do that is to pick up a book.

      Another tip – buy whole series at a time (if you like series). That way, if you get into the first book, the next ones are right there, so you don’t lose focus and forget to continue reading because you forget to buy the next ones at the bookstore.

      Oh, and go to brick and mortar bookstores and/or the library. MUCH better experience than buying books online. I get super excited by buying books at the bookstore. Also helps that once I buy the book, I have the book in my hands NOW and don’t have to wait two days for it to show up on my doorstep.

      • #110375

        I’m like you. In addition to hyperfocusing on reading, I have an extremely fast rate of reading, and a high rate of recall. When I was 13, I read the 5th Harry Potter book in 6.5 hours. Last year, I read 202 books, just to see if I could 😛 I’d have probably read 250 if I hadn’t tried to read the first Harry Potter in Norwegian (took me a month and a half. Bloody Norwegian).

        Unfortunately, I moved to a country where physical books cost three times as much as what I’m used to paying, so I had to get a kindle (or, rather, my SO decided to get me one for my birthday), where books cost an average of HALF of what I’m used to paying. And, I’ll be very honest, I’ve not looked back. Ebooks (which I previously thought of as a filthy travesty that would have no purchase in my life) are so FREEING. Something as simple as being able to continue the book that I was reading at home on my phone when I have ten minutes in line at the supermarket checkout has improved my life IMMENSELY. I can even read in the dark, when my SO is trying to sleep and I’m too awake to drift off yet. And it’s delightful being able to instantly access the next title in a series that you took a chance on and weren’t willing to buy the whole thing. Add that to the lowered price of books (meaning you get to read MORE for the same money), and it’s such a no-brainer for me. Even without factoring in physical books by independent authors, which would cost even more than an ordinary paperback over here, in two years I’ve managed to save the cost of the Kindle just based on print price vs kindle price.

        I still collect physical books (and I have several that will probably never be converted to a digital format unless I type them up myself), but going from the ‘always-available’ nature of a kindle back to physical books is almost painful. Being dependent on the level of light, and having to have both hands free to hold the book is just horrible.

        Anyway, my point is that digital reading isn’t necessarily the worst thing, as long as you do it with real books 😛 I’ve found kindle app and kindle reading to be better for me than reading physical books. Sorry for the sermon on the delights of kindles 😛

      • #110376

        Spaceboy, I hadn’t considered the Kindle in my response, but I have one (an older second generation one) and very much enjoyed reading on it. However, I tripped on it in the middle of the night a while back and damaged the screen, so I need to get a new screen (or a new Kindle). I would count reading from the Kindle as reading books and not reading random stuff from the internet. They are single-purpose devices without the peripheral distractions inherent in phones/tablets/computers. I’m a fan of the e-ink screens that aren’t backlit – better for sleep hygiene and more like a real book. I also like the page turning action – similar enough to a physical book that I can keep my place and easily flip back a few pages (as opposed to audiobook scrolling).

        Kindles are great, though I’d advocate for the single-purpose ones without extra tablet functionality if you want to do book reading and not just more distracting tablet activities.

      • #110580

        Read the books which have topics of your interest.

    • #110301
      Penny Williams

      Many people with ADHD finding the prospect of reading an entire book overwhelming and it prevents the activity. I would suggest trying audio books or, which offers electronic read aloud as well.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #110367

      I could see audiobooks being something to try out – you can keep moving around and doing things with your hands, which is nice. However, I personally find audiobooks excruciating, for a number of ADHD-related reasons. I am highly visual, and can imagine the scenes I’m reading playing out like a movie in my head (this is probably why I like fantasy so much). I can process description really quickly, but usually need more time to process dialog, so I read (and reread) dialog more slowly. Audiobooks are one pace. And if I zone out for a minute, it’s hard to rewind and figure out what I’ve missed/not absorbed. I very frequently need to flip back to reference stuff that happened earlier. And then there’s the tactile aspect of printed books that help with waypoints and landmarking (and therefore remembering stuff that happens).

      However, I enjoy radio shows and certain podcasts. The huge difference between these and audiobooks is that the former are specifically designed to be consumed in audio format. You have people conversing naturally, interviews, narration intended to be spoken, rather than written prose being read aloud.

      Still though, I love books. It’s funny, turning to the first page of some massive 800-page fantasy brick is super exciting, while the prospect of enduring some long movie that’s not action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy/animated/comedy is… nope.

    • #110377

      I was reading a lot of short stories and novelas as a kid. Everything pass 200 pages seemed like too much for me. I love books and stuff like that but I was never able to keep the pace of reading every day.

      To this day I still regret not reading enough and once I got to the university it was even harder because I had this books that I needed to read for education. The hardest thing was memorising stuff,we had one exam that needed to be memorised by word and I barely passed it. All of my grades were pretty much A+ except for that one (two exams but they were pretty much the same) time that I had to learn definitions. I just couldn’t reproduce the definitions by heart. I can tell you in details about all of the stuff but I can’t tell you the definitions. I still remember everything about that class to this day but not a single word that I needed to learn. Proffesor would say “So the definition is on this page in the second paragraph” which didn’t help at all.

      I really want to get back to books but I can’t get myself to do it. I have a very weak vocabulary of my language because of it. Besides spelling errors I have better grasp of English language than of my own because I read much more stuff over the internet.

    • #110531


      What really works for me is an app called Marvin 3 on the iPad. I read them on the train for a total of an hour a day.

      It works for me because it reads the books for me (text-to-speech) while I read along. This blocks out the surrounding noices in the train and the lack of internet on trains (I prohibit myself from using my phone’s hotspot on the iPad) keep my attention at it for far longer. And when you set it to a higher pace, you’re forced to keep your attention at the text, otherwise you get lost (for example 2x or 2.5x in the lower right corner).

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