Six Smart Comebacks for People Who Don’t Like to Read


I try to be open-minded about a lot of things. Crocs. Wearing camo as a fashion trend. Even beets. But honestly, I don’t understand why people don’t like to read books. I’m just gonna pull my nerd card on this one. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT BOOKS? Let’s face it, the world around us can be enchanting and magical in its own peculiar and predictable way, but sometimes you just need to delve into a little fantasy fictionland to survive.

That being said, I know and love lots of people who don’t read books. Some haven’t read a book since college. Others haven’t read one since high school. Unfortunately, this isn’t a shocking trend among non-booknerds. Research shows that reading takes a steep decline after age eight.

Below are a few of the most common excuses I hear from non-book-lovers. Fortunately, I’m able to debunk all of them.

#1. Reading is boring.

Okay, I understand why someone would think reading is boring. There’s a lot of words and they’re all shoved onto these pages and there’s a lot of pages to flip through and you have to think and stuff. But how “boring” is it—really? Let’s put this in perspective. Is it more boring than, say, loading the dishwasher or folding the laundry? Is it more boring than doing your taxes or sitting through a geometry lecture? I say no. Which brings me to my point: Books allow you to ignore all that truly boring stuff and come off like a really intelligent sponge who has better things to do than housework.

Picture this. You’re on the couch. Your partner asks you to do the dishes. You pick up a copy of Dickens. You say, “I can’t right now—I’m reading.” Booyah. You not only look like the smartest person in the room, you don’t have to do the dishes anymore. Plus, you’ll have a really long book to read for the night you spend on the couch.

#2. I can’t find anything I want to read.

There’s about 50 gazillion books out there and 50 gazillion more being published. Let’s face it, if you can find this book on the Internet, you can find anything. If you want book recommendations, ask your book-loving friends. Or a librarian. Or anyone. Better yet, ask me. I love telling people what to do.

#3. I started XYZ book, and it sucked.

Good news! The Publishing People have published more than one book.

#4. Books are a pain to carry around.

Oh, geez. For real? You can’t shove Gatsby in your bag? It’s, like, five pages long. Okay, okay, so you want to read Lord of the Rings instead. I’ve got two words for you: Kindle and Nook. Actually, that’s three words. Plus you can also read on your iPhone, so it’s four words: Kindle, Nook, and iPhone. Now what you gotta say about that, sucka?

#5. Reading makes me tired.

So? Read and fall asleep. Sounds lovely.

#6. I don’t have time to read.

Finally, an excuse I can get behind. I don’t have much time to read, either. I’ve got Life stuff and Work stuff and Writing stuff and even School stuff. It’s hard. So you know what I do? I shove at least five minutes in there somewhere to read something. Sometimes it’s just a piece of flash fiction or a short story in between work projects. There’s good stuff out there on the Internet, people. It’s not just YouTube videos of Miley Cyrus twerking or the latest Willy Wonka meme. There are stories! Stories galore! Here are some of my favorites. I promise they won’t put you to sleep.

Maybe the Girl, by Rumaan Alam

Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot, by Robert Olen Butler

About Things that are Lost and the Places that Things Get Lost, by Andrea Kneeland

We are the Pretty, by Ryan Rickrode

Through the Flood, Laurel Fantauzzo

Oranges, by Gay Degani

Benjamin Potatohead, by Ella Spencer

2 Replies to “Six Smart Comebacks for People Who Don’t Like to Read”

  1. Great post! the saddest thing is when a friend of yours who USED to love to read falls into the old “too much work to do, can’t read” excuse. Yet they have time to glaze over in front of the flat screen. Books, I tell them, are like the wee moving pictures but better because YOU are the director. You get to cast the characters, scout the locations, be the cinematographer. You are running the freaking mind-movie! Sometimes this works, along with giving these people books for the holidays. ALSO! I am crazy into recommending audio books. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – and a lot depends on the talents of the narrator, but I have doubled my reading since discovering audio books. I can ‘read’ while running, driving, ignoring my children and avoiding boring things. It’s not the way I *prefer* to read, but every once in a while it can be glorious.’s Brilliance Edition of Jane Eyre made me want to stalk the narrator and beg her to be my friend. I’ll let you know how that goes…

    1. Yes! That’s what I love about reading — being the director. And that’s especially what I love about writing. When I was a kid I wondered why anyone wouldn’t want to write. I mean, you can make ANYTHING HAPPEN. How awesome is that?

      Audio books is a great recommendation! I love audio books, too. Sometimes I listen to them at night while drifting off to sleep. I also listen to audio short stories when I’m relaxing in the tub. The Drum is one of my faves. If you haven’t visited their site yet, check them out:

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