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Why Did We Stop Reading?

How to remove the obstacles that get in the way of our reading

Why Did We Stop Reading?
Photography by Artiva Design

We have the best of intentions every time we purchase a new book. But then we get busy and, over time, our bookshelves become mausoleums of unread tomes. Stacks and stacks of novels and biographies and self-help books, all collecting dust.

There are at least two reasons we stumble into this predicament. First, we put too much pressure on ourselves: we see someone online who claims they read a book a week, and then we beat ourselves up when we don’t live up to their expectations. Second, we let that which is easy and passive—social media, news feeds, television—pull our attention away from deeper, more meaningful pursuits like long-form reading.

But we can remove both of these obstacles with relative ease. First, we can set our own expectations—how about we each resolve to read just one enriching book per month this year? Second, we can eliminate as many distractions as possible—starting with removing the social media apps from our phones, and then replacing them with an e-reader app so that when we feel the tug of instant gratification, we reach for an e-book instead of our Instagram feeds. If we make only those two changes, we’ll read considerably more throughout the coming twelve months.

For more of my favorite books, check out my recommended books list.

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