Why Do People Dislike Reading? [How to Get them Hooked!]

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Nowadays, with all the technology available many people are not interested in reading a book anymore and actually dislike reading. You may have a friend or a loved one who really dislikes reading and you can’t figure out why the person is disliking it.

You may have a kid who refrains from reading or perhaps you yourself dislike reading and are looking for answers why.  But no matter the situation, the key question is why someone dislikes reading.

Generally speaking, people dislike reading due to poor reading skills. If a person can’t read at an acceptable speed, it can cause frustration and lead to accepting other forms of entertainment. Other reasons include poor attention span or bad reading experience as a child.

In this article, we’ll go into detail about some of the possible reasons why a person dislikes reading. I will also give a few tips on how to rectify the problem and refer you to a good online guide in this regard.

Note – if you don’t have time to understand the reasons and know how to take up reading, my recommendation would be to start with Audible where you can hear the books instead of reading them! Click on the link to get a one-month FREE trial of Audible!

7 Reasons Why People Dislikes Reading

There are many reasons why some people dislike reading. Although it is difficult to identify and list them all, I’m sharing some of the most common reasons that experts cite for the lack of interest in reading.

1: Insufficient Reading Skills

Most people who dislike reading just don’t have sufficient reading skills. If you don’t have the right skills to do something, you can’t enjoy doing it. In fact, you dislike doing it. I, for instance, don’t have any carpentry skills and really dislike doing carpentry jobs around the house.

The same rule applies to reading. People with poor reading skills dislike reading. They can’t find any joy in a reading activity simply because of a lack of skills and the time it takes to read.

One of the most important reading skills needed to enjoy reading is to read at an acceptable speed. If you are only capable to read at a very slow pace, reading frustrates you, and you dislike it as you perceive reading as an unnecessary time-consuming activity.

You’d rather take up other activities and forms of entertainment instead of reading in such as scenario!

2:  Irrelevant Reading Material as a Child

When children are exposed to and even forced to read wrong and age-inappropriate reading material, it is detrimental to their subsequent opinion of book reading.

If young children experience books as irrelevant and boring and not as exciting sources of new interesting information, or the place to look for fantasy worlds to live in, they tend to dislike reading later on in life.

Children who had to read inappropriate books and were bored by them, often can’t, as an adult, see the point of reading just for leisure. They can’t see what they will gain by reading. Reading is only seen as necessary for study and work.

3: Lack of Concentration

When you struggle to concentrate and are distracted easily, it is difficult to focus on what you are reading. When reading, your mind wanders off and the images and ideas that reading brings to you are lost. 

This is actually quite common in today’s day and age! In fact, research done by Microsoft revealed that our attention span has decreased from a poor 12 seconds in the year 2000 to an abysmal 8 seconds by 2015!

In fact, if this study is to be believed, then even a Goldfish has a longer attention span (9 seconds) than an average human being!


This is primarily due to an overload of information in the current world that we are faced with. Add to that the easy access to attention-demanding sources such as social media platforms.

More and more people are dependent on their smartphones and digital devices. All these factors lead to loss of interest in books and even develop a dislike for reading. You will tend to rather do something else that needs less concentration or perhaps more pleasure than reading for leisure.

4: Information Overstimulation

Today, we are so overstimulated with new information provided to us by phone, social media, internet, and many other ways that when we come home from work we don’t want to be involved with an activity that needs concentration.

If you haven’t learned from a young age that reading is a very relaxing activity and you can escape from stress by reading a good book, you will dislike reading when you’re at home after a busy day.

5: Peer Pressure – Especially with Teenagers

One reason why many teenagers dislike reading is peer pressure. Reading is often described by teenagers as something you only do for your teachers and study reasons.

If none of your friends is reading any books for leisure and you are not a reader from a very young age, the chances are good that you will also not read a lot. And, unfortunately, “abstaining” from books leads to disliking reading.

6 – No Family Reading Culture

If your family dislikes reading when you are a child, you are not in an environment where you can interact socially around books and share your love for books with at least one other family member.  You will most likely end up as an adult disliking reading. 

In research done by Linda Teran Strommen and Barbara Fowles Mates in 2011, it was found that family culture is the dominant influence in developing a love of reading. In their research group, almost all the students without a family reading culture disliked reading.

7 – Can’t Comprehend What has been Read

A factor, especially with students, for disliking reading is that the reader feels that it is a waste of time to read something that you can’t remember or understand fully afterward.

The people who offer this as a reason for disliking reading, indicate that they learn quicker and remember better if the study material has been viewed in a video or on YouTube.

Furthermore, it can be a frustrating experience when you have to look up the meaning of a word every few sentences. This definitely doesn’t help improve the reading speed.

A study done at a Midwestern arts university revealed that less than 50% of students who had been assigned assignments involving reading, reported that they actually read assignments. And only 55% of those students were able to show the study leaders that they had comprehended the material correctly.

How to Get Someone Interested in Reading?

To get somebody hooked on reading you have to address the reasons why the person dislikes reading. You can check out our complete guide on how to get someone interested in reading, but for your convenience, I’ll mention a few tips below.

Tip 1: Pick an Interesting Book to Get Started

The best way to get people interested in reading is to entice them to read a book on a really interesting topic for the said person.

It is also a good idea to read the book yourself and have discussions with the person about the book to entice the person to finish the book.

Tip 2: Propose Set Reading Times

If someone is willing to start appreciating the reading of books, don’t give the person a book to read through in one or two days.

Suggest to the new reader to take it slow and set certain times during every day when he or she can read undisturbed for at least about 10 minutes.

Tip 3: Entice the Person to Master Speed Reading

If the person is a slow reader, entice the person to master speed reading. It has been found that people who’ve mastered speed reading are more likely to love books and reading.

About the Author

Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.

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