How to Overcome Reading Obstacles

Reading is an important activity for many of us. Nothing should ever stand in the way of our reading time, and yet, they do. Some days it feels like the world is conspiring against us and our books.

Here’s how to combat those pesky things trying to thwart your reading. As always, don’t expect sensible advice.

Not Having the Time

How to Overcome Reading Obstacles - busy catIf you don’t have the time to read, learn to multi-task. Take your book or Kindle with you everywhere.

Read on the train, the bus, in your breaks… Even better, read when brushing your teeth, on the toilet, driving the car (maybe not), when boring people insist on paying you a visit… The list is endless.

There is always time to read. Anyone who says there isn’t is an amateur.

People Distracting Us

Disown anyone who disrupts your reading. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

It seems like the second you pick up a book, the world wants to talk to you about something, switch the television on, turn the radio up or just breathe loudly.

Fight the force that works against your reading. It’s time for reverse psychology. Pick up a book, sigh, and comment on how rubbish it is but you’re reading it under duress. No one will interrupt you then. There’s no fun in stopping someone from reading who appears not to be enjoying the process.

Pets Demanding Attention

How to Overcome Reading Obstacles - cat distractionThe second I crack open a book my cats are all over me and the book.

It’s tricky reading a page when you’ve got a bum hole in front of it or a cute cat face over the top of it.

You need to work on your stealthy ninja skills. Climb to the highest point of your home, even if that means shoving yourself in that gap above the kitchen cupboards.

Once you’re firmly ensconced, probably stuck, move each page slowly to avoid pet detection. If you’re swiping on a Kindle, don’t press too hard. Animals have bat ears on these occasions.

Make sure you take your mobile with you to call for the fire service to get you out when you’re finished.

Running Out of Books

What on earth are you doing, allowing yourself to run out of books? I have no time for you. Go away and think about your actions.

The To-Be-Read Tower

How to Overcome Reading Obstacles - to be read towerThe TBR tower is a beautiful thing. Embrace it rather than see it as an issue.

So what if you’ll never finish all those books before you die? You have all the books to look at. You have beautiful shiny covers to delight your eyes and that inimitable book smell that is bookworm crack.

The TBR tower also has many functions as well as delighting your reading senses. You can use it as a bedside table, a clothes horse, a new wall or even just a bragging tool to show your friends that you are the don of books.

Rubbish Books

You’re 50 pages in and this book is utter shite. What to do?

Just ditch it.

Life is too short to take up your precious reading time on books you hate.

I used to be a stubborn fool who would finish a book even if the boredom threatened to kill me. It took me a while but finally I realised I was a loser not a winner. I lost so many opportunities to read amazing books.

No one gives out prizes for finishing books. That stopped when you finished school.

If your book’s a dud, give it up. Except if it’s mine. Then you have to read it all the way to the end and leave five star reviews.

Your Loaned Books are Missing

How to Overcome Reading Obstacles - annoyed catYou’ve made the mistake of letting a friend borrow one of your favourite books. You thought you’d covered all bases in carefully considering how trustworthy this person is.

You went to school together and they saved you from the playground bully. Surely they will value your book and understand your need to be reunited with it as soon as possible? Big mistake, my friend.

Unless you live with a person, and even then I recommend putting a tracker on your book, do not lend your treasured books to others. The odds are never in your favour for getting your book back.

If you have made the rookie error of loaning out a book a decade ago and you’d really like it back, by all means ask. Be prepared for either silence or denial of the book’s existence from the borrower.

At this point you will either need to give it up and buy another copy or break into their house when they’re out and get that book back. If you choose the second option and get caught, I do not know you and you’re an idiot for taking my advice.

The Need to Sleep

Sleep is for the weak when it comes to reading. If you’re not vowing to read one more chapter while caning another twenty, you’re doing it all wrong.

Drink a jug of coffee before you go to bed. Prop your eyelids open with matchsticks. Do whatever you need to do to fight your way into the early hours with your book.

The easiest option is to choose an incredible book that you cannot put down. When it turns to morning and you’ve reached that explosive ending, you’ll be telling the dawn chorus of birds it was so very worth it.

Over to You

How do you overcome reading obstacles? Silly and serious advice are equally welcome here. It’s the way this blog rolls.

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

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