Books & Reading · Writing Insight

Why Do People Hate to Read?

I don’t know about you, but four words that always strike a note of sadness in me are, “I hate to read.” For myself, I just can’t grasp it. Granted, everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

But to actually “hate” reading?

Hate + reading = Does Not Compute!! šŸ˜€

Okay, maybe I do “get” some reasons folks give, which is what I’m going to explore in this post. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it doesn’t cover every possible line of reasoning, but I’ll do my best to explore why some people hate to read:

They haven’t found the “right” book yet
I’ve heard it said that the reason some folks hate to read is that they just haven’t found a book they’ve enjoyed or really connected with. Granted, it may take a long time to find a book to really get into, but I believe there is something out there for everyone. What appeals to one person may not always appeal to someone else, so it’s prudent to keep searching.

They have misconceptions about reading
Some people think reading is for nerds, geeks, or whatever term you care to use. Only boring people read, so if I read, people will think I’m boring – at least that’s how this philosophy goes. Yet quite the opposite is true – reading opens your mind and enables you to learn (yes, even through fiction). In fact, people who read are generally more interesting and easier to talk to than folks who don’t.

They had a bad experience while learning to read
Maybe they were forced to read out loud as a kid or perhaps a teacher or someone else called attention to their flaws whenever they did read, especially for school. Whatever the reason, some people hate reading because they have negative associations attached to it or bad memories. That’s a shame and sometimes teachers mean well but can forget how much of an influence they have. But just because you had to read out loud or read something you loathed in school shouldn’t scare you out of trying to enjoy reading now.

They have unaddressed literacy issues
Some people, especially adults, have legitimate literacy issues where they actually cannot read or they struggle with reading more than other people. So it stands to reason that if you can’t understand or engage what you’re reading, you won’t enjoy it. If this is the case, try to find an adult literacy program in your community. No one will think you’re dumb for trying to help yourself.

They were never shown the value of reading
People who grew up in a home that placed an emphasis on reading or where parents or siblings read openly are likely to value reading. But if someone grew up in a home where reading was stereotyped as nerdy or boring, or no one read, they will be more likely to dismiss reading as a worthwhile activity. In this case, now is a good time to start a new habit – and reading is a great habit to get caught doing!

They see reading as “homework” or a chore, not something fun
This goes back to how someone might have been taught to read in school as well as in the home. If reading was viewed as something you did only because you had to, then some people might keep that mindset when they grow up to view all reading as an unpleasant activity, not something to be done for entertainment.

They have a narrow view of life
Lastly, some people hate to read because they enjoy staying in a nice, quiet, little box and don’t want to challenge their minds. Granted, I think very few people belong in this camp but I’ve seen it myself. They don’t want to use their imagination or learn anything new, even if it’s just for personal gain or amusement. It’s okay to learn something just for fun, but some people don’t like stretching their brains, which is a sad trait to have.

So there you have it – those are some of the reasons some folks might cite for hating to read. Can you think of others? If so, share them in the comments! šŸ™‚


6 thoughts on “Why Do People Hate to Read?

  1. I think education is a big factor in why we some people don’t like to read – it’s a good mixture of everything you have said above.

    People most likely read books in school that they didn’t particularly enjoy, and therefore believe that all books are the same – unaware of the wide world of literature out there.

    Great blog!


    1. I totally agree! Not to say that students shouldn’t be exposed to classics but some books have just been overused. When I used books in my college-level English classes, I tried to use novels that were a little less typical, such as “The Hunger Games,” “Repo Men,” and even the “Nero Wolfe” mystery novels. Most of the students found something to connect with and actually enjoyed reading the books. Sometimes I think educators need to update their tried-and-true book lists. But that’s just my opinion.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! šŸ™‚


  2. Exactly! They need to realise that there is more out there than the classics. The Harry Potter books have inspired so many kids to pick up books – a lot more than Shakespeare would inspire children nowadays.

    Classics should be taught in schools, don’t get me wrong, but the education system needs to realise that there are plenty of other books published that also deserve to be read, too.

    The worst is when people find it funny that they don’t read books.


    1. Likewise, there are themes in some current works that uniquely pertain to today’s world and the issues people face. Granted, classics are called “classics” for a reason but there should be a balance of both the old and the new so students of all ages get the best of both worlds and everything in between.


  3. I don’t understand it either. I think they just weren’t exposed to enough good books and got out of the habit of reading. People are too busy, and would rather plop down on the sofa and watch tv. So sad.


    1. Quite true. Nothing against visual media, but it does eliminate the need to fully use your imagination since all of the settings, characters, and even the way dialogue is spoken are all depicted for you. Again, I love movies and TV but, as always, books have more of an edge when it comes to making you think.


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