When I was a kid I was reading all of the time, just give me a book and I’d be happy and it didn’t really matter what it was, I just liked to read. But sometime over the last few years my love of reading got extinguished, and there are actually a variety of reasons as to why this occurred.
Around the age of 10 my parents got me my first real console, a PS3. I’d had a PS2 in the house and multiple hand held consoles but I’d play them occasionally and not for all too long but then I got this whole new console and my mind was blown. I now have over 70 games for the PS3 alone almost all of which I have played countless amount of hours in and with the release of the PS4 my time on games has just increased. Playing video games took over a lot of time, time that would have been previously spent reading or just doing other things, to be honest I don’t really remember what I did before playing video games and find it difficult to imagine what I would spend that time doing otherwise.
Also video games just seemed to take something away from reading, in my young teenage mind it was like, “Why would I read when I can get the same information from playing a game?” and so reading took the back peddle over playing video games.
I’m not saying video games are the devil and children shouldn’t play them, on the contrary I think they are a pretty amazing art form that are grossly underappreciated on the whole. But I do think that there should be a greater emphasise on reading in a different way than what there currently is.
My school were really big on reading, they still are in fact. I remember at one part around Year 8 I was expected to read a book a month and keep tabs on what I was reading and write reviews on them and it just sapped all of the fun out of reading for me. Instead of reading because I wanted to I was flicking through the book, half paying attention and not really caring just so I could find a bit of information to show I’d read it.
These aren’t good ways to get kids interested in books, back in my primary school we had a book bus that would come along every term and we would go on there and pick out a book to read until it came again. Once we had an author of a book come in and read to us from his book, which has currently escaped my mind (I hope to find the name of that book again), and I remember for the next year that book was gone from the shelves by my year group – you could never get it out because everyone wanted to read it. This was a good way to get kids interested in books!
I am a big fan of multitasking, I do it with literally every thing I can. When I am browsing the internet I am also listening to music, while I watch a TV show I am also playing a game, while I bathe I am reading and while I eat I am also watching YouTube. For me it is a way to get everything done in the day, without it I’d fall apart and spend far less time sleeping, and I love my sleep. It’s difficult to multitask while reading, I can just about listen to a lyric-less song and read but if I try watching a show or listening to music with lyrics I end up paying more attention to that than the book.
Maybe for a portion of time I saw reading as a waste of my time, I would think that there are so many other things to be doing that reading wasn’t a good way to be spending my time.
Getting put off easily
As touched upon a bit before if there is background noise like people talking or music playing I just can’t pay attention. There are countless amount of times where I’ve had to stop reading because I’ve been hearing my parents talking downstairs and just couldn’t read because I could hear them. It doesn’t really matter what I do I just can’t zone them out and especially when I am reading A Song of Ice and Fire where I have to be paying 100% attention to understand what’s going on, it just ends up with me putting the book down and doing something else.
People that speed read often say that our eyes are constantly looking all over the place when we are reading so using a finger as a pointer is proven to help you focus – maybe I’ll have to try it sometime.
For a few years now I may have only read one or two books a year but over the past 6 months I’ve started that spark for reading that I used to have. I can feel it coming back to me, when I’m sitting down doing nothing at all I want to be reading, I’ve been buying new books that I want to read and have been looking at my old ones and wanting to reread them.
Of course reading isn’t for everybody and some people just don’t enjoy reading but I know that I used to love reading when I was a kid and I hope that over the next few years I can break away from video games and start reading a bit more.
If you have any suggestions on books to read please leave them in the comments, I’m always trying to find something to read.
Thank you for reading,
Take care, and I hope you have a great day