First: Why read at all? Isn’t it so dry and boring, with nothing but words on a page?
Why do that, when you can have 4k digital imagery streamed directly into your eyeballs at 60fps?
And a 7.1 surround sound system going from every direction and tone?
Better yet a VR headset, to really get you plugged in.
When books are just words?
That’s exactly why.
Books are just that: words and only words.
The author attempts to paint a picture in your mind, it’s the same exact picture they see.
However, ultimately, it is up to you to create the image yourself, as you read.
This is why you always hear: “The movies sucked! The book was so much better. The movie was nothing like the book!”
The book was better because you created it based on your imagination and experiences.
The book fits you better because you imagined it that way.
The movie doesn’t fit you because the director imagined it that way.
A book offers much more detail than a movie or video game can.
In fact everything was a book/script before anything else.
So, to fire up your brain, and get that creativity going: Read.
Here at the Walk and Think Castle, I have large tower of unfinished books.
Two e-reader accounts piled with unopened titles, and
A backlogged written list of books to buy next.
There are a few reasons for this.
It’s not a lack of time or attention span.
I love learning, and books are a great way to do it.
I enjoy taking recommendations on books to read from people.
I don’t feel like money spent on education materials(even if they turn out to be complete garbage) is wasted.
Just like money spend on food is not a waste, as it keeps you alive,
Money spent on research and books keeps you brain alive.
Sometimes though, you just can’t get through a book.
It becomes more of a chore, than research.
There does come a point when it’s time to stop reading the book, and pick up another title.
That time is when you simply cannot get yourself to finish a book.
It lays around started, maybe half way, maybe nearly finished.
And when you pick up the book, your mind is somewhere else entirely.
A book that should have taken you, at most, a week to finish, is linger around for months.
Here are my top 3 reasons why you can’t finish a book:
#1. You’re not interested
This is most often the reason why I cannot finish a book.
Maybe the cover looked appealing, maybe the subject, when I picked it up.
But if you lose interest in a book, and it will be easy to tell when you do, it’s pretty much game over.
After that it’s either a different book, or a willpower marathon of forcing yourself to read.
You can sit and stare at the pages, however, you can’t really get focused on the material – because it doesn’t interest you.
There is a night and day difference between being interested and not being interested.
If you are interested and the subject and writing has caught your attention…
You would stay up late reading, knowing damn well you have to wake up early the next morning.
You would see 0200 in the clock and shrug, and continue reading, just to finish the chapter.
I’ve done this many times, a book becomes fascinating, and if it’s fiction – an escape.
You might be a bit tired the next day at work, but you would also still be thinking about the book.
Back in school I used to get my books confiscated.
I would bring my own books to class and read them while the teacher droned on about some nonsense or another.
Cram and dump, cram and dump, cram and dump – there’s your schooling experience. There is no more depth to it than that.
I would use every technique to read my own materials, up to and including changing book covers, so the book resembled a textbook for the class.
I would print out research, place it in a folder and read it over top of school work.
That was how interested I was in my own research, and how much I hated wasting time in a classroom.
Listen if you were truly interested in a book, you would ignore other tasks just to get an extra chapter in.
You would think about the contents of the book during doing other things.
While walking, while cycling, while being in the gym.
The right book can be, and is, that powerful.
When I hear people say:
“Reading is just too slow and boring”
“I just can’t get into reading or stick with a book”
My response is: You are not reading the right books.
You’re reading about things that don’t TRULY interest you.
It’s not ADD. It’s not a lack of focus or getting bored easily, or not having time, or any of that.
If you can watch TV or play a video game for several hours straight, you do not have ADD or ADHD or anything like that. I promise you.
They just aren’t the right books for you.
Be honest with yourself and read what you want to read.
#2. It’s not well written:
This is another reason I’ve shut down on several books. The subject is great, the information is killer, the authors ability to write it… poor.
I just cannot bring myself to read braggy or stuffy writing.
Writing is an art, and some authors assume a good message is enough, but do not take the time to perfect and hone their craft.
It leads to an inability to communicate with their art in the way that they want.
They cannot communicate the information clearly.
They cannot paint the image they see in their mind for you.
There have been some books so poorly written I have torn them in half and threw them straight into the trash.
Instead of writing the information promised in the review and cover, the author brashly talked about how much of a bad-ass he was, and how astute.
I never go to the meat of that book, as the first 30% made me nauseous.
We get it, James Bond should take lessons from you, Mr Cool Dude, now where’s the information promised?
If a book is not about the subject presented, you have been ripped off.
Get your money back if you can, because, what they’ve done was use buzzwords to sell you a product that has nothing to do with the title.
Sometimes, the writer will be skilled, however their writing style just doesn’t fit you.
Maybe it’s the diction, or the vocabulary, or the tone.
No matter. Sell or give away the book and move on.
#3. You’re trying to learn too many different things at once
This is a less common problem, however does occur with the truly curious reader.
This is the case with me at times, especially with non-fiction titles.
I get too many titles together and start reading something like 3 to 5 books at a time, throughout the day.
It just doesn’t work that well, as I inevitably mix up and lose information.
It’s best to focus on just one book, until you finish it, taking notes along the way.
It’s so much more difficult to learn several things at once.
A simple focus on one topic is best.
Maybe one fiction and one non-fiction book is ideal.
How to solve being unable to finish a book:
#1. Don’t read bad writing!
if the words don’t flow, if you don’t connect with the author or the character in the story, don’t read it.
If the formatting is terrible, and it’s a pain to get through, don’t read it.
#2. Don’t read things you’re not interested in!
Get real with yourself.
Don’t pretend to be interested in things you are not.
Just because a topic is popular, or seems appealing, doesn’t mean you will be into it later, once you learn a few things, and read a bit.
That is perfectly ok. Don’t guilt trip yourself into sticking with an uninteresting book.
It’s not worth is, and you wont enjoy the fake attention give to the book.
#3. Be extremely picky with publications you select!(unless you have zero prospects on your to read list.)
Yes, choose your authors, pick one book to work on at a time.
Wait for what you know will be good work based on the author’s previous products.
Really do your research before getting another book.
And remember, if the book is a chore to read, and does not hold your interest…
Drop it, and move on!
Until Next Time, and
All the Best.