Why Do I Lose Interest in Reading? (& What to Do About it)
You can lose interest in reading due to the reading slump, television, mental illness, or tiredness. To rekindle your love for reading, join a book club, avoid distractions, take a break and choose your reading method.
People read to gain knowledge and discover information. Others read for entertainment, escape reality, and get immersed in another world.
But there reaches a time when you don’t want to read anymore. Reading doesn’t spark any emotion or interest as it did before.
This article will discuss the different reasons for losing interest in reading. It will also discuss what you can do about it.
Keep reading to find out!
The reading slump
A reading slump is where you can’t read not because the book is disinteresting; it’s because you just can’t read. It is a frustrating phase that most readers go through in their lives. The Urban Dictionary describes it as a reader’s worst nightmare.
Dedicated and exceptional readers can also suffer from a reading slump when words on books don’t captivate them. Different reasons cause reading slumps for individuals, including nervous exhaustion, brain-numbing TV, change in taste, etc.
A reading slump starts when you’re in the middle of reading. You get stuck in a certain sentence that you repeat for 30 minutes.
Since you can’t get past the line, you put the book on the shelf and decide to read it later.
However, you never get past the sentence for days or weeks, no matter how hard you try.
How to get out of the reading slump
- Reread your favorite book. An all-time favorite can get you out of that rut you are in by giving you motivation.
- Join a book club. If you like peer pressure, books clubs are excellent social support systems for readers.
- Listen to an audiobook. Listening to an audiobook can ease your way back into your excitement for reading. Audiobooks help readers that can’t concentrate on words or sentences at a time.
Reading requires high-function activity from the brain. You need to immerse yourself in the author’s thoughts to understand what they are saying. However, mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar can disrupt the understanding process.
A 2016 study showed how depression affects your ability to think. James Cartreine says the following about depression in the study:
- It affects your thinking ability and impairs your attention and memory.
- It decreases cognitive flexibility to change goals to adapt to a changing situation.
- It affects information processing skills.
Depressed people can’t concentrate, and they experience memory loss.
A person who likes to read will lose interest in the activity because depression causes the following:
- Lack of focus in reading resulting in misunderstanding.
- Mild distractions easily cause a lack of focus, leading to incomplete read books.
- Lack of comprehension causes missed information or lack of pleasure from reading.
- Lack of concentration hinders the ability to remember when given new information.
How to get back into reading with a mental illness
Getting professional help, taking medicine prescribed by the doctor, and talking to loved ones are the first steps to healing. Additionally, if reading feels too tedious, take a break for as long as you see fit. When you’re ready to get back into the reading game, you will feel refreshed and tackle many books.
You can also take the maximizing memory course by Iris Reading to improve your memory. Depression causes memory loss, and this course will cover practical techniques to help you remember what you read.
Television is a modern media tool that distracts many people from reading. Everyone seeks an efficient shortcut that achieves the same results. People who don’t have time to read a book will watch TV instead, but it has negative effects.
Reading boosts thinking and increases knowledge levels, while TV kills brain cells.
A 2013 study led by Hiraku Takeuchi in Tohoku University studied the effects of TV on 276 kids’ brains.
Here are the results of the study:
- The longer kid’s watched TV, the thicker the brain associated with aggression and higher arousal became
- The frontal lobe responsible for verbal reasoning thickened
- The verbal test results became lower the more time they spent watching TV
Another study by Gregory Burns and his colleagues on the effects of reading novels on the brain showed the following:
- Heightened connectivity in brain regions that relate to language
- Improved activity in the sensory-motor region of the brain
- Reading helps increase alertness and slows cognitive decline in old people
How to avoid TV distractions while reading
Changing your environment will help break the habit of watching TV. If you’re in the same environment, you will keep doing the same thing.
Also, taking a break from your routine will help you focus on your books.
You can go to the library, a café or another quiet environment to read your books. Since you don’t have a remote next to you, the urge to switch on the TV will recede.
Tiredness and restlessness
The brain uses 30% of the energy in your body daily. If there is less energy in your body, you become tired, affecting reading performance. Additionally, some activities can also cause fatigue, making you lose interest in reading.
Here are some of the reasons you feel too tired to read:
- Too much screen time. If you work with a computer for several hours, your eyes get tired from staring at the screen. The colors on your screen affect your mood.
- Personal interactions. Sitting in meeting with colleagues and exchanging information can take a toll on your energy levels. Exhaustion after long conversations is normal.
- Stressful job. Stressful environments are draining and leave you tired at the end of the day. Stress takes up a lot of energy, which worsens if you experience headaches and pains.
- Physical jobs. Jobs that involve standing all day, carrying heavy things, and wearing restrictive uniforms are tiring. If you are always moving, you will be too tired to read.
- Unhealthy eating. A busy life with work and chores can make you forget to eat healthy, making you feel tired all the time. Working on low nutrients affects energy levels; hence you have no energy to read.
How to deal with tiredness and get back your interest in reading
- Take screen breaks. Your eyes need to rest from the screen for five minutes every thirty minutes. The break gives your muscle a break and leaves you with energy after a long day.
- Make brief meetings. Limit social interactions if possible and leave time for yourself.
- Eat nutritious meals. Balanced breakfast and energy-boosting snacks can increase your energy levels throughout the day.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Sleep deprivation leaves you tired and makes it impossible to squeeze time for a book. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep is enough to keep you active and ready to read a book.
Reading feels like a chore
People read to immerse themselves in the book’s world for pleasure and stress relief. However, it reaches a point where readings start to feel like a chore.
For instance, keeping up with other book lovers can lead to stress rather than pleasure. Competing with other people who read the most books in a month or year seems fun at first. But it ends up draining your energy and interest to read.
Making reading a competitive sport sucks out the joy in the activity. Documenting all the books you read on social media becomes tiresome and feels like a chore. You don’t enjoy reading like you used to because you judge the time taken to finish each book.
But reading doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
How to make reading not feel like a chore
Here are some ways to make reading feel less of a chore:
Read a book that arouses interest
Find a book in a niche that you like. Don’t read something because everyone is reading it. Also, don’t join a book reading competition because of peer pressure.
Start with books that you enjoy and stay true to yourself.
Set aside time to read
You don’t need a schedule that states a specific time for reading. Instead, set aside 30 minutes or 1 hour on a Saturday to read. This will become routine and your special reading time, which is relaxing as you continue. If you can’t find the time, ten minutes multiple times in a day will add up to an hour or two.
Don’t read when tired
Coming home from work tired then reading a book will put you to sleep. When you are extremely tired, it is better to rest. Still, if you are having a hard time sleeping, reading a book can help you.
Choose your reading method
There are different reading methods, including
- Paper/physical books
Choose a reading method that works best to regain your interest in reading. For instance, self-help books can do well with audio, while the rest should be books or eBooks. The most important method is which works for you.
Join a book club
If reading is becoming a chore, try joining a book club. Discussing a book with friends or strangers can re-ignite your reading interest.
Regain interest in reading with Iris Reading now!
Losing interest in reading is normal. The reading slump, depression, tiredness from working and TV can make you lose interest in reading. When reading feels like a chore or competition, you feel tired and also lose interest.
If depression is the cause of lost interest, it is important to visit a professional and talk to loved ones. On the other hand, if you are experiencing the reading slump, read an all-time favorite or join a book club.
Do you want to regain interest in reading?
At Iris Reading, we have courses that teach speed reading and memorization techniques. Our personal productivity course helps you learn strategies to boost productivity, especially if you have a busy life.