What I assume when people tell me they don’t like to read

When people tell me they don’t like to read, a small part of me (or perhaps more) thinks they are pretty crazy. How could someone not like to read?

As an avid reader and an English major, reading, writing and thinking about books are likely the things I spend the majority of my time doing.

Even while it is believed that Americans buy more books today than they ever have before, many people are still adamant about the fact that they don’t read for fun.

And why not? Is it because these non-readers think reading isn’t fun? I couldn’t agree with anything less. Books are incredibly diverse, with countless genres and subjects. From fantasy, science, history, nonfiction and science fiction, it seems as if there is a book out there to fit anyone’s interest.

When people tell me they don’t like to read, I assume they read too much for school.

While reading can be really enjoyable for some people, if you are forced to read all the time for school, it can get really old really fast. After spending several hours of your evening reading a book for one of your classes, even if it is a good book, once you’ve finished, it’s really hard to want to pick up another book to read for fun. I get it. I have days when reading is the last thing that I want to do. If you don’t like to read, I assume you don’t have enough time to enjoy it.

But if you don’t read for school, I assume you haven’t read a good book yet.

There are so many different types of books out there. Every reader has read some really good books and some really bad books. Some of them only mildly uninteresting and some of them so bad that you can’t even force yourself to finish it. I assume that if you don’t like to read, the books that you’ve tried to read didn’t properly spark your interest. If you don’t like to read, I assume you haven’t found a book you liked, and that’s caused you to give up on the rest of them.

But if you’ve read books that were inherently interesting to you and you still didn’t like them, I assume you live a far more interesting life than I do.

Books are great when you need an escape from your own life. But if your own life is more interesting in comparison to the most interesting books, you might not want to read all the time. You might have something more exciting, or more interesting, that you could be doing right now. Even if you’re hanging out with friends all the time or constantly attending parties, you probably don’t have time to read a book. I assume you don’t like to read because you are too busy to focus on enjoying a book.

But if you don’t have a particularly busy life, and you still don’t like books, I assume reading is difficult for you.

If you don’t speak English as your first language, reading books in English is not going to be the easiest thing. If you are an international student, finding literature in your native language around PSU is probably more difficult than I understand. Or perhaps you have dyslexia, or some obstacle that makes reading more difficult for you than for other people. I assume if you don’t like to read, there is some challenge that makes reading too much work for it to be enjoyable.

But if you can read easily, and you still don’t like to read, I assume your dislike for reading is some combination of the above reasons. But if it’s not, I’m definitely confused. There are books about so many different topics out there, written by people of every age, gender, religion and ethnic background. There should be a book (or many) out there for every type of reader. But if someone just claims that they don’t like to read, and don’t offer a reason, I don’t buy it.