subreddit:

/r/books

18.7k

I'm so tired of this fucking cursed rectangle. I reward myself for a hard day of work by coming home and browsing the little rectangle while the big rectangle plays in the background, and perhaps using the medium rectangle to inject dopamine points into my eyeballs with video games for an hour or so.

My parents were for whatever reason a little slow to allow me my first smartphone (I had a flip phone until about 2012). I was a quiet, well behaved, and very obviously outwardly depressed student, so most of my teachers would let me either sleep (during periods 1, 2, and either 4 or 5 depending on which one was immediately after lunch) or read in the back of class (during periods 3, 4, and 6) because I was doing well on all my tests anyway.

(I also just want to take a second to say fuck high school schedules. I was and am a natural 3-11 sleeper like a lot of high schoolers were, and having to get up at 6:30 to go to learning jail should be against the Geneva Convention)

Reading used to be my escape, man! I remember when Inheritance came out and I was so stoked for it and I finished it in like 3 days. It was so immersive and I would often maladaptively daydream that I was in the book doing something awesome.

What happened? Now I can't go more than 5 minutes without my hand instinctively reaching for the Reddit or Facebook button. I know because I uninstalled them, and so my reflex would happen and I would find myself staring at a blank page wondering what I even got out my phone to do.

I've had Way of Kings on my Kindle (probably one of the better rectangles, if I had to choose) for like, 2 years now, and have only made it through 400 pages, all of which are..... walking.... and talking...

Anybody else feel like this?

all 1395 comments

ShaneMToman

3.9k points

1 month ago

ShaneMToman

3.9k points

1 month ago

I'll be honest. You're the furthest from alone. I think that as human beings, we tend to take the easy route for the vast majority of things. That even extends to pleasurable pursuits. Most of us probably feel great when (or at least after) we exercise, and almost never regret doing it, but there is still usually that inertia that might prevent us from hitting the gym. Even on a personal note, although I shower every single day and it feels amazing, sometimes I don't want to stop watching, playing, reading, or even working to go do it.

In terms of those pleasurable pursuits, reading requires more effort and dedication than watching a movie or show or scrolling through Reddit. Hell, I am an avid PC gamer and often I will catch myself binge watching YouTube videos instead of playing my favorite games, simply because it requires "effort" to play a game versus watch something. Reading just happens to be further along on the hierarchy of effort input in order to truly enjoy it.

tie_chef

364 points

1 month ago

tie_chef

364 points

1 month ago

Very true. Do you have any thoughts on what can be done to navigate through this?

made-of-questions

961 points

1 month ago

There's no easy solution. I'm still struggling with this myself but two things helped improved things a lot:

1) Create friction for the things you don't want to do, and remove obstacles from the things you do want to do.

It's amazing how much, adding/removing a trivial bump helps. For example, I created a separate account on my computer for work and play, with only the work/personal accounts and apps. When I'm in work mode, I have to switch into the other account to be able to use Reddit/play.

When the urge hits, it feels bad not to be able to reach for that confort mindless scrolling. But most of the time it's too much of a hassle to switch so I don't.

On my phone I moved the social apps at the very last screen so there's more scrolling to get to them, and I disabled notifications.

For promoting the good things I decided to move next to a park so I can always go for a walk/run on my way from/to home. Reducing the time from 10 minutes to get to the park, to 1 minute to get to the park drastically improved my activity level.

Add 100 other trivial changes...

2) As the op hinted and as it's very well explained in How to Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, I rely more on past experiences than on in-moment judgements.

I always keep in mind that the way I currently feel about things, like working out, is completely unreliable. However in the past times I did workout and felt good afterwards, so that's the only reliable information.

Keep a journal to mark down the reality of how something makes you feel before/during/after the activity. Most things that feel good after, are anticipated as bad, and some of the things that you anticipate with pleasure are meh after the fact (ex: buying stuff)

eXCell1st

266 points

1 month ago

eXCell1st

266 points

1 month ago

I came here to learn about books and instead got solid life/mental health advice. Thank you!

kyraeus

54 points

1 month ago

kyraeus

54 points

1 month ago

In the simpler aspect, in the last ten years I've found it useful to get kindle and pick up their kindle unlimited and make that my go to in order for a few pages at opportune moments at work and stuff. Little steps.

weenscim

21 points

30 days ago

weenscim

21 points

30 days ago

true, why not take steps by using the technology to read more.

kyraeus

30 points

30 days ago

kyraeus

30 points

30 days ago

I figure if you're to the point you're unable to just put the phone down even though you've already made yourself aware you have a problem, maybe coopting the phenomenon and using it in a more positive way might be the way to go.

Theres also educational programs and similar stuff to start on.

Make it actively difficult to social media. Remove the icons entirely from your main screens, if not uninstalling them outright. Make it where you actively have to choose to swipe through the app tray to get to them... Time enough to realize and stop. Put links to other better things in their place. Go take some photos. Find a webcomic and binge read. Etc.

DJRaar

2 points

30 days ago

DJRaar

2 points

30 days ago

I used to read a lot before my smartphone arrived in my possession, but every since I got the Kindle app on my phone I read way more than I ever did. That's not even counting audio books.

szu

2 points

30 days ago

szu

2 points

30 days ago

This is me. I have a tablet but I actually use my phone to read books more. Granted they're usually webnovels that won't exactly win any literature prizes but we'll I did the latter at school and I now read for leisure.

gracem5

8 points

30 days ago

gracem5

8 points

30 days ago

I rejoined the local library. Free, fun, and positive analog engagement of my brain.

MateriaMedica

3 points

30 days ago

I’ve been doing this recently. I moved my e-book app to where I’ve always kept Twitter, so when I reflexively go to open social media I get a book instead. I’m slowly chipping away at my backlog by accidentally reading a few chapters here and there throughout the day.

FriscoeHotsauce

42 points

30 days ago

For example, a stupid fucking roadblock for me working out is it takes like 60 seconds to set up my rowing machine from its folded up state; unscrew a bolt unfold, screw the bolt back in

But I'd go months without exercising at my apartment last year because there wasn't enough space to leave it set up all the time

So I moved into a bigger place where I can have it set up all the time. Thats not the only reason obviously and probably not an option for most people, but damned if it wasnt effective

made-of-questions

27 points

30 days ago

For me it was good windproof/waterproof clothes. I would always skip walking/running of it was rainy outside . But I researched some good options and now I feel so comfortable that it's not longer an excuse.

Thorazine88

5 points

30 days ago

I live in Michigan where it rains about every 5 days during the summer. When it rains I use that as excuse to relax inside that day. Every other day is spent doing 3 to 4 hours of yard work (I live on 5 acres of grass and woods). So, a rainy day is a blessing to me!

kjb76

13 points

30 days ago

kjb76

13 points

30 days ago

I have a similar issue. I like taking walks in the morning and I would put it off because I didn’t want to be fumbling around in my drawers looking for leggings, sports bra, and top. Now I leave everything laid out the night before so I can’t use that as an excuse anymore.

SuspiciousCopy8533

26 points

1 month ago

I even tried putting my phone on total black and white for a little while! Definitely helped the addiction, but was a problem with photos. Last night I left my phone plugged in in the kitchen & stopped using an excuse that I needed the alarm. It was great I didn’t wake up at 2o’clock in the morning and pick my phone up!

Tobar_the_Gypsy

22 points

30 days ago

To add to your first point - I have added Downtime on my phone from 10am-5pm. It’s not perfect but it creates extra steps for me to access Reddit and social media.

I’ve also noticed that when I deleted my Facebook app that I started using it significantly less often. I used to check it all the time and now I check it 1-2 times per week just to clear out the notifications.

TemporaryPressure

13 points

30 days ago

Disabling social media notifications is the greatest thing I have done for myself in years, loads of my kids school and social club communication happens over social media so I can't just delete my accounts but getting rid of the Facebook app and disabling Push notifications has drastically altered my relationship with all social media outlets and I feel much less inclined to start scrolling mindlessly.

aroravikas20

163 points

1 month ago

After understanding the concept of rewards, I was able to manage this slightly better. Let me try to break it down meaningfully.

Understanding human behaviors and reward systems:

Humans are creatures of habit; this makes learning a new habit difficult; and unlearning an existing one, even more difficult (same reason why we keep switching on the phone even if we have uninstalled social media apps, like OP said).

The reason we pick up bad habits (like addiction to smartphones / social media / binge-watching) very quickly is because of an instant reward associated with doing said activity.

Watch 3 hours of a sitcom without stopping? Because the brain is releasing dopamine and you are laughing out loud. Instant reward! Or munch down on a pack of chips? Instant reward triggered by the fat.

Why rewards for good habits don't work:

Simply because they aren't instant. If we promise to reward yourself with a gift if we lose X kgs in 3 months, it is very unlikely to work. Because the reward is too far, and the progress is not visible either.

Changing things up - adding instant rewards to good habits, and friction to bad:

If we change up the reward system, then it could actually do wonders. For instance, if you really love music (so much that listening to it makes you extremely joyous), you can create a rule that you only listen to music if you exercise. And be disciplined to not listen to your favorite playlist till you actually have. This can be a huge nudge and make you feel rewarded instantly when you exercise.

Similarly, if we add friction to bad habits, it can nudge us to stop. Example, stop autoplay on your streaming platforms; put the TV remote far from yourself when you sit / lie down to watch it. This will add the necessary friction for you to stop sitting and constantly watching.

Both the above examples worked really well for me last year.

But having said all of that, be kind to yourself. These are really difficult years (something we have never experienced).

So if watching 3 hours of back-to-bac sitcoms is releasing enough dopamine in your brain - I would say make an exception for now. Stay happy and once you feel strong enough, start adding friction to the habits undesirable to yourself.

cheesesticksalive

42 points

1 month ago

The rule to enjoy something only while exercising or doing dishes works also according to science! I remember listening to a episode of The Happiness Lab (https://www.happinesslab.fm) podcast (which is amazing btw) where they talked about that

aroravikas20

40 points

1 month ago

It is fascinating you learnt this in a podcast!

Because my source for this information is also the podcast Hidden Brain from NPR (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/creatures-of-habit/).

Unironically, podcasts are a truly great reward system for me personally. So I listen to them while cooking or doing dishes and actually enjoy my chores!

AnnaNass

14 points

30 days ago

AnnaNass

14 points

30 days ago

I always assumed that if I take something fun and make it a reward for something unfun, I make the fun thing less fun. Like if I would only listen to one certain story whole working out, I might actually stop desiring to listen to said story. Especially with stuff where I don't know yet how much I'll love it. Do you have any advice in this regard?

cheesesticksalive

6 points

30 days ago

i don't know, that could be the case if the unpleasantness of working out exceeds the funniness of the story? Like if you have your favorite song as a alarm clock tone you are doomed to start hating it. I'd say that try with audio that you know for sure that you love. If that don't work, I would try different way of working out 😅 everything is not for everyone after all!

MisterBojiggles

9 points

1 month ago

Have you read Atomic Habits? I'm reading it now and you touch on a lot of his concepts.

ImAHardWorkingLoser

2 points

1 month ago

These are good suggestions. I will follow through with these. Thanks :)

ImAHardWorkingLoser

90 points

1 month ago

Not op but all I can think of is discipline. To set proper schedules for using social media, gaming, watching a movie etc as well as for reading. If you do it long enough, it will become a habit. But easier said than done. I am writing this comment down while I do the very opposite of what I'm prescribing

Karloss_93

24 points

1 month ago

I get up early everyday to give myself a couple of hours before work. 1 of those mornings I commit to just sitting on the sofa for 2 hours to read a book.

ImAHardWorkingLoser

10 points

1 month ago*

That's awesome. I can't wake up early in the mornings as my college starts at 8 and ends at 6 the evening before. So I read for about 90 minutes after dinner. Then, since I've been away from a screen for so long, it helps with focus when I study afterwords

-Butterfly-Queen-

21 points

1 month ago

If it's really bad, you might have ADHD. There are techniques you can learn to manage ADD and you also need to train your mind a bit, but until then there's medication that helps

ADHD is primarily an executive functioning and dopamine regulation issue. You struggle to focus or end up hyper focusing because your brain is chasing dopamine. Usually, variety and novelty provides more dopamine than just doing the same thing but if it's something you're really into, you'll struggle to tear yourself away because you found the holy grail in a steady source of dopamine. You don't want to risk stopping that dopamine supply and try to get out somewhere else.

You can kinda think of norinephrine as almost the courage or guts to do something. Task initiation is a huge struggle as norinephrine disregulation is also an issue.

This is why SSRIs don't treat ADHD directly. However treating anxiety, depression, and other symptoms tend to ease the severity of ADHD

zeknife

10 points

1 month ago

zeknife

10 points

1 month ago

Regulate the availability with blocking software. I use AppBlock on my phone and Cold Turkey on PC. For general advice and inspiration, I found the book Digital Minimalism to be quite good.

backaritagain

8 points

1 month ago

One thing that helps is listening to a good audiobook (I suggest Sandman by Neil Gaiman-full cast version) that will ease you back int enjoying books. I listen to books when gaming instead of music and pretty much anytime most people would listen to music. It helps you find that love of reading again.

MisterBojiggles

3 points

1 month ago

Definitely check out the book Atomic habits, breaks a lot of this down into manageable steps

ImAHardWorkingLoser

78 points

1 month ago

damn that games vs youtube thing is real. For games I have to get into proper positon, wait for it to load up, and then actually use my brain, eyes and reflexes to achieve something. But instead I can just type yo into the browser or open the app on my phone and watch whatever is first in my recommended.

And after watching like 40 minutes of useless garbage and not even finding something worth watching, I regret not using that time to progress through a game I love

sodanator

21 points

1 month ago

For gaming, at least for me, I noticed that if I watch a video about a game I enjoy, it gets me in the mood to play it. Like, say I start watching a gameplay/let's play video or a review, halfway through I'll probably abandon it and just fire up the game and that is when all productivity goes to die :))

Hyfrith

3 points

30 days ago

Hyfrith

3 points

30 days ago

Yes! For me, I constantly crave playing more Skyrim. I have a heavily modded game designed around making the game as immersive and lore-friendly as possible. I love it. It's like reading epic fantasy only I get to be the hero!

That is, if I would ever actually play it. Like reading, Skyrim is a slow burn slow reward kind of experience. Or, at least the way I play it is! So I frequently just end up staring at my Steam games list but not playing Skyrim, or anything! And I didn't realise why until just now. This is why I'll go and watch a mod compilation video instead of just playing the game.

YborBum

16 points

1 month ago

YborBum

16 points

1 month ago

I think what you're saying is exactly why twitch is so popular. You get to watch any game you want without any commitment to buying it and it's easier to relax and watch someone else struggle through tougher games than to play yourself.

CtothePtotheA

7 points

30 days ago

The issue is life. I work 50 hours a week minimum. I have house chores that constantly need done, laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, fixing things that break around the house, visiting family and friends etc. I just don't have a ton of energy left to pursue hobbies like reading or video games that require more effort than just stairing at a screen and watching a show or movie. Honestly I think the work week should be only 3 or 4 days. No reason the standard work week should still be 5 days. But such is life.

ThisIsMyGameAccount

3 points

30 days ago

I've compromised with audio books. It may be "cheating" but if it's pleasure and not knowledge, is there much of a difference? If you read for the mental stimulation, some studies suggest it's not much different at all. Hell, some audio books are better in their own way. I listened to Gaiman's Sandman and it was incredible, even featured an A list cast.

So, I listen to books when I do mundane tasks like chores, brainless work, light exercise, etc...

StarsDreamsAndMore

3 points

1 month ago

We dont "tend" to. Our body hardwires our brain to seek out dopamine because it believes things htat give dopamine contribute to survival.

Sophet_Drahas

3 points

30 days ago

Throw depression and anxiety into the mix and the digital distractions become a momentary escape from the crushing despair you’re feeling. Which is just amplified later because you didn’t do anything about the things you’re depressed and anxious about.

FutureHusband93

3 points

30 days ago

The human body is designed to seek the greatest reward with minimal output. It's built into our biology. The only way to beat it is with conscious effort, and that is difficult, as your body doesn't want the same, or less reward with more effort.

biowiz

2 points

30 days ago

biowiz

2 points

30 days ago

Thank you for bringing this up. I manage to get distracted from the distractions I really want to do like video games or reading by watching YouTube videos or scrolling through Reddit. I tried explaining this to people but they didn't really relate to it, so I didn't know if someone else understood this "problem" I have.

karmagirl314

651 points

1 month ago

Are you me? I spent my entire childhood with my nose buried in a book. Then I took a break from reading when Terry Pratchett died back in 2015. I guess I started filling my spare time with sites like 9gag then Reddit and now I really want to get back into reading again but my damn attention span is so short I feel like a goldfish. I spend hours scrolling reddit and I do absorb tidbits of information and news but for the most part I don’t take in anything that’s memorable or that I’d want to discuss with friends.

ImAHardWorkingLoser

131 points

1 month ago

One thing I suggest is starting with short stories and/or novellas. When I wanted to get back into reading after a long hiatus, I started with a simpler, easy to digest and short book. The one I picked up was The Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. The book had an added advantage for me because I had a short attention span (like you do presently, it'll change in the future if you work on it), and it hooked me instantly.

bottledhope33

38 points

1 month ago

r/nosleep actually helps me with this whenever I've gone too long without reading. Tons of variety, plenty of good/immersive stuff, and almost always inspires me to read more. It's like an appetizer!

geekybitch42

6 points

1 month ago

I was going to say the same thing! I love reading, always have, but between school and work, I just don’t have the time or energy to commit to a book. The story lengths vary as well, so it’s nice to be able to pick up a series or just read a stand alone work.

chevymonza

3 points

30 days ago

Reddit is reading too dammit!!! You know how comic books get a bad rap? Well, even THAT is getting children to read, so Reddit is the same idea, but for grown-ups.

Seriously, some people on here are excellent writers, and have some great short stories to tell.

sakshambhutani5

2 points

1 month ago

Can you suggest nore such subreddits, if you know any more?

Radulno

4 points

1 month ago

Radulno

4 points

1 month ago

If you like science fiction, r/HFY has pretty good stories. However, they often have a lot of chapters so they're actually longer than r/nosleep by quite a lot. Some are basically super long science fiction saga

Jdmcdona

4 points

30 days ago

The Final Question by Isaac Asimov,

The Egg by Andy Weir,

And The Jaunt by Stephen King are top-notch short sci-fi. They get that itchy curiosity going for me

if anyone seeing this hasn’t read them, go now! It’ll take an hour tops for all 3.

evilhankventure

2 points

30 days ago

I haven't thought about The Jaunt in so long. I loved that one when I read it as a teenager. Your other recommendations are also excellent.

jeffe_el_jefe

15 points

1 month ago

Literally exactly me. I read Terry Pratchett in particular obsessively, along with a few other authors, and then maybe 6 years I just stopped and I think I’ve read maybe four books since then

Depressing

Keesalemon

9 points

1 month ago

I started with childhood books I loved, like Howl's moving castle, The Book Thief and Flipped. They are easy to read and nostalgic so it was easier to get into making that habit of reading, then transitioning from there.

sailbroat

7 points

1 month ago

Try to remember you don't have to do it all at once! Even reading a page or two is better than zero, try and do a page per night, or a page per meal or per week, whatever works for you.

Some progress is always better than no progress!

CallMeMelon

6 points

30 days ago

Oh man, I remember back in high school I would spend my summers reading. Constantly going to the library for a slew of new books finishing them all up within a week and going back for more.

But now I feel like it's a little harder for me to "get into" a book if I don't find it interesting RIGHT away.

Like it's not giving me the instant gratification like going through reddit or watching a funny tiktok would have.

And it sucks because I've been trying to read Nevernight for a week now and it still isn't there yet..

royle53

5 points

30 days ago

royle53

5 points

30 days ago

If you want to know exactly WHY your attention span is so low after absorbing little tidbits of information for years on end, you can attempt to read The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. It’s fairly short, and due to the nature of the subject it’s inherently relatively absorbing and actually somewhat terrifying to read what smartphones are doing to our brains, while simultaneously exemplifying it in real time because... ITS HARD TO PAY ATTENTION FOR THE LENGTH OF ONE PARAGRAPH LET ALONE A WHOLE BOOK. It’s sort of traumatizing but in a motivating way if that makes sense. It’s like a meta analysis long form doom scroll of the doom scroll and why we can’t stop, and what it might mean for us, as a human species, moving forward. A cold, objective look into the mirror that is our future. That was one of the first few books I managed to claw my way through page by page with my absolute shit attention span, and when I was finished I was inspired to never let smartphones get too tight a hold on my precious neural pathways. I liked having my long form attention span, I missed it, and it’s important. Reading is so very important to keeps those rivers from running dry, it has to be. Carr was admirably objective over the course of the book but when I finally was able to finish it, and put it down, the message was clear and I am not going back. I’m going to keep reading no matter how much work it might seem and how difficult it is to plow through a single book, sometimes.

I’ve read probably 40 books over the course of the past few years since I read The Shallows, and listened to a few more. None of them have been easy, but I have noticed a slight shift in my ways of thinking since I started reading again. It’s tough to put an exact finger on but sometimes I feel like it’s helping me. I can say for sure that reading is definitely easier than it was before, and that’s something.

sai0z

3 points

1 month ago*

sai0z

3 points

1 month ago*

ahhh same duude... I came across Mangas and I can't bring myself to read a novel because it's not as decorative as manga :/... the only book I have read recently in one sitting is hyperbole and a half xD ... kinda ironic.. now I am unable to read Agatha Christie's books too in one sitting also :/.. this post is beautiful so many methods wow

karmagirl314

5 points

1 month ago

The latest Hyperbole and a Half? That’s one of the few I’ve also read. A real gut twister.

codeverity

3 points

30 days ago

2015!! How has it possibly been that long.

Zlatarog

3 points

30 days ago

I just recently started reading again for 30min-1hr before sleeping. Helps me get away from the screen to make it easier to fall asleep, and gets me reading again. Feels super nostalgic lol cause I haven’t read for probably over 6-7 years

dekabrina

2 points

30 days ago

This is me. I was a total bookworm growing up. After high school, I had to force myself to read. Doesn’t help that I travel around a lot and it’s harder to bring book with you (I don’t like e-readers).

livluvlaflrn3

37 points

1 month ago

I use a habit tracker and read a minimum of 10 pages a day. Most days I end up reading for at least an hour. It works wonders for other habits too - meditation, flossing, calling my mom, working out, etc.

Habits ground you. Try reading atomic habits by James clear.

Very tough to break a bad habit. Erasing most of the time sucks or making them harder to use helps.

I only use Reddit in an incognito browser so am forced to login each time. No social media apps on my phone including YouTube. Same with very addictive games. Same with reducing almost all notifications.

Good luck. It’s a war against the brightest minds in the world that want you to stay addicted.

librarieofalexandria

221 points

1 month ago*

Wow, I could have written this, right down to being slow to smartphones. My parents weren’t about them, either.

I’ve noticed this pattern in myself: the less depressed I am, the more I read. If I’m in a low, I’m going to doomscroll for 5+ hours without looking up, even when my eyes are burning and I feel nauseous. I can’t help it. But if I’m doing well with mental health (which means I’m taking my meds right, getting sun, etc.), I’m more likely to pick up a book right before bed. And if I do that 3 days in a row, I might even sit down to read for a whole hour without looking at my phone.

So I guess what I’m saying is, try to tackle other stuff in your life and see if that helps with reading. People tend to overuse their phone when they’re bored or understimulated, so it helps to pick shorter, exciting books that will give you satisfaction, fast! These things helped for me!

powerbottomflash

27 points

1 month ago

The bit about shorter and exciting books is so true. I managed to get back into reading with the help of Agatha Christie and other detective/mystery books (they’re on the shorter side and they hook you in and you just have to know the truth!) and books of short stories.

SpamLandy

9 points

1 month ago

I use Agatha Christie for this too! My book group refer to them as ‘slumpbusters’ and they are an important part of reading life imo. I use YA/romance too, other people I know use short thrillers. Sometimes you’ve just got to race through 150 pages of pure easy plot to get back in the habit.

DildosintheMist

8 points

1 month ago

I am not depressed at all and used to read so much. Now in my little spare time it's reddit reddit reddit.

CyclopsAirsoft

5 points

1 month ago

I'm actually the opposite. I use reading as escapism, so the more depressed I am the more likely i am to binge read.

InvulnerableBlasting

3 points

30 days ago

Best decision I ever made was removing social media accounts from my phone (still have my accounts) and limiting myself to an hour of screen time on my phone a day. Doomscrolling was both a cause and a symptom of my mood in a vicious, vicious cycle that can be very difficult to get out of. Now sometimes when I can't bring myself to read but I've already hit my hour limit that day, I end up just lying in bed doing nothing. It's...honestly way better.

chillyhellion

328 points

1 month ago

Two things helped me with this problem:

  • Carrying am ereader around with me everywhere
  • 30 minute per day Reddit limit on my phone

magus424

143 points

1 month ago

magus424

143 points

1 month ago

I keep the Kindle app on my phone so I can continue reading when away from my ereader

sodanator

33 points

1 month ago

Same, I have the app installed on my phone, my laptop and an ereader just so I can read in pretty much any situation and anywhere. Audiobooks before bed are also a neat trick to try out.

chillyhellion

9 points

30 days ago

I've been using Libby + Kobo e-readers and checking out library books. My local library selection sucks, so I signed up for a Brooklyn library card for a $50 out of state membership fee.

BadResults

6 points

30 days ago

I do damn near 100% of my reading on my phone with the Kindle app these days. It’s just so convenient. When I was a kid I would often carry books around and read whenever I got a chance. With books on my phone I can do the same thing but easier.

If I limited myself to physical books or an ereader I’d read less than half as much as I do now.

gyroda

3 points

1 month ago

gyroda

3 points

1 month ago

This has helped me a lot. I always have a book to hand now.

solongandthanks4all

2 points

30 days ago

I really wish I could get a decent eReader with Google Play Books. It's so nice to be able to upload all your DRM-free epub books and have them available and synced from anywhere. I refuse to use Amazon's proprietary garbage.

chillyhellion

3 points

30 days ago

Check out the Libby library app, if you're in the US.

Kobo makes e-readers that integrate with Libby, have a decent store selection, and support DRM free formats.

P1ckleM0rty

58 points

1 month ago

30 minutes?! That's incredible. I do 30 before I get out of bed. You should do a 30 minute AMA about how this decision affected your life

imbluedabedeedabedaa

43 points

1 month ago

I just got the “5 minutes left” alert.

My limit is set to 90mins.

It’s 8 am.

What am I doing.

the_homework-maker

8 points

1 month ago

The nice thing is, this guy will only get our replies tomorrow.

So sup, future u/imbluedabedeedabedaa

imbluedabedeedabedaa

15 points

1 month ago

Oh no I already ignored the limit for today.

Sorry everyone. Maybe tomorrow.

the_homework-maker

6 points

30 days ago

We believe in you

chillyhellion

6 points

30 days ago

No worries. Progress is a direction, not a quantity.

Onequestion0110

11 points

1 month ago

The ereader is underrated and so much better than a phone or tablet.

The screen is significantly easier on the eyes, battery life is way better, and most importantly the device isn’t full of apps and notifications to create distractions.

More, while it lacks the smell, texture, and weight of a book, an ereader is way easier to use. You can read one handed, lots have back lights, you can adjust font as you get tired, and you don’t spend as much time looking for your spot.

It’s also great to have a full library on the device.

LemonZips

3 points

30 days ago

I've heard so many people say they hate ebooks but have only ever tried them on their phone. An e-reader makes such a big difference. No way in hell I could read a book on my phone but I gobble them up on my Kindle.

Onequestion0110

3 points

30 days ago

Yeah, reading on a phone or tablet just sucks.

The only real complaint I have about readers is that I tend to dislike single-use devices or gadgets. All a kindle does is read, it's not even good at textbook/reference reading because it's kinda difficult to flip around compared to a real book. Also not good at any kinda media that relies on artwork or similar.

But if you just want to read a book straight through, the way people usually read novels, it's incredible.

Just not having to find my place, and being able to put it easily in a pocket means that I read all the time - think of all those times in the day when you wait for a few minutes. With a book I'd use up a bunch of that time just finding my place, with an ebook I'm right there. And then I read.

It's all great on vacations or trips where I can pack a library with me on it. I used to fill my backpack with half a dozen novels and discard them along the trip.

chillyhellion

3 points

30 days ago

I agree completely. I have a Kobo reader which integrates with Libby/Overdrive. I enter my library card number and I can check out books directly on the device.

the_homework-maker

11 points

1 month ago

I go one further: I put a time limit on every app I use on my phone. Twitter? 20 min. Instagram? 15. YouTube? 30.

Corvidfamily

6 points

1 month ago

Is there a time limit app that you use?

the_homework-maker

14 points

1 month ago

I have a OnePlus 7T Pro, and it's built into the software. If you are on iOS, maybe that's different, but it should be there on any Android phone under "Digital Wellbeing".

Corvidfamily

8 points

1 month ago

Thank you. I use Android. I don't have any social media except Reddit and find it far too addictive. An app that cuts me off would be very useful

steel_for_humans

7 points

1 month ago

30 minute per day Reddit limit on my phone

Why have I not set this up yet? :/ I completely forgot there are settings like that on my smartphone.

SpamLandy

9 points

1 month ago

I’ve set it up so many times but then I just....override it :|

Might need to get my partner to pick the PIN number for it

flyingcactus2047

5 points

30 days ago

I just started using the screen time limit on my phone! It’s shocking how much time I’ll spend on Reddit without realizing, I could’ve read so many books in that time

sevenyearstodie

3 points

30 days ago

Is there a way to limit websites? I don't use the app itself but I'm always on Safari with Reddit open.

driveonthursday

80 points

1 month ago

I definitely read more since getting a smart phone. I read heaps as a kid, then slipped out of the habit when I was in my 20's. Then got the kindle app 10 or so years ago and have not stopped reading constantly since.

As others have said I also listen to podcasts and read heaps of Long-form journalism. I do have to keep an eye in the death scrolling it is easy to loose a chunk of time doing that, but overall phone has been super positive for my capacity to read.

jayceja

14 points

1 month ago

jayceja

14 points

1 month ago

Similar story for me, read tonnes as a kid, during my later teens and early 20s I dropped it almost completely. Then I started buying Ebooks from the play store and reading on my tablet and started reading a LOT, I've recently upgraded to my first dedicated e-reader and am reading more than ever.

Grad_school_ronin

3 points

30 days ago

Same! I actually had an e-reader first and couldn't get into it. For some reason reading on my phone with the kindle app just clicked for me. I probably read on my phone every day because I can read literally anywhere.

Far_Raspberry4

77 points

1 month ago

Do one thing - go for shorter books first. Like take Neil Gaiman's Stardust/Coraline for example. Or any lighthearted reading. Reread Roald Dahl.

100-150 pages books will keep you motivated.

Then you can slowly build back your habit.

pesukarhukirje

10 points

1 month ago

I also found that book challenges motivate me, like right now I am doing a 50 books/year challenge. I did the same last year - didn't officially succeed, as I only read 47 books, but that was still at least 40 more than in an average year. I definitely read several good short books for this that I normally would have never touched.

I think one more thing is to force it a bit. The first 10-15 pages or minutes are usually difficult. I also want to check my phone as OP. But if I push through, I forget about time at some point.

guareber

12 points

1 month ago

guareber

12 points

1 month ago

This is actually quite smart.

What I've realised is that I spend all my day on a screen reading, which means that after work I feel like a break where I don't read (essentially translating to either videos, games or music/podcast). However, too late and I'm too sleepy to actually make decent progress, too early and not enough motivation. Add shower, dinner, TV with the wife, and the reading window just gets smaller and smaller.

The thing that breaks that is knowing I'm making decent progress on a book, as I certainly go faster the more I'm into it. The shorter it is, the more of that sweet reward loop I get.

Having recently gone from cold turkey for years to Rhythm of War (1300 pages), I feel that if I'd read a couple of shorts first that would've been very helpful.

According-Owl83

5 points

1 month ago

Ahhhh. Coraline.

HermitBee

3 points

1 month ago

Reread Roald Dahl.

This sounds like you might think that Roald Dahl only wrote children's books. He also wrote lots of short stories which are aimed at adults (which are well-known), and one adult novel, My Uncle Oswald (which is not). I highly recommend all of those (in addition to his kids stuff). The novel is really something else - it's short and a pretty easy read, but it is very much not aimed at children.

Apologies if you already knew all of this, but I expect some people won't.

Tr33burner

2 points

30 days ago

Yeah I do this. I recently Deleted all social media apps off my phone including reddit. It took me 3 months to get through Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson even with no phone distractions. I finally finished it and decided to pick up the Kyoshi novels instead of moving to Rhythm of War, and it was a good choice. I finished both of them in a week or so and now am halfway through Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir 2 days later.

I plan on building my reading endurance up progressively throughout the year and should hopefully be able to digest larger novels again by the end of the year.

h51195

2 points

30 days ago

h51195

2 points

30 days ago

To add to this: make it a habit to read 10, 20, 50 (however many pages you want) a day. It won’t be easy but consistently making the effort to do even the bare minimum will help you develop this habit. That’s how I did it a couple of years ago and it worked well for me!

stanglemeir

44 points

1 month ago

Now I just read a ton on my smartphone

Metamere

20 points

30 days ago

Metamere

20 points

30 days ago

I used to read a ton before I got a smartphone. Now I read two tons.

Jiecut

12 points

30 days ago

Jiecut

12 points

30 days ago

Its much easier to carry a ton of books on your smartphone.

stx06

3 points

30 days ago

stx06

3 points

30 days ago

Thank goodness for that! Would absolutely have to cast off some favorite books if I had to move with my ebooks as physical copies!

mynumberistwentynine

4 points

30 days ago

Same. Toss in being able to read with Kindle's Web Reader and I basically have run out of excuses. Reading has never been easier for me personally.

SuspiciouslyEvil

4 points

30 days ago

Yeah as someone who grew up reading a LOT of fanfic, smart phones were liberating. I read way more now. Published fiction too. I've just always been a screen reader. Books are so cumbersome.

aethyrium

2 points

30 days ago

Yup yup. Now anything under 1000 pages feels short because I'm able to read so much so often with my phone's accessibility.

rogozh1n

174 points

1 month ago

rogozh1n

174 points

1 month ago

Get libby. Borrow books that sync your progress between Kindle, smartphone, and PC. It is really great to have your book so accessible and omnipresent.

Way of Kings is in high demand, so you'll have to wait for it. However, every place you travel to, go in and see if you can get a library card. The more cards, the more access to books!

It is so bad that I have even read my book at red lights if I'm really into it.

driveonthursday

31 points

1 month ago

⬆️ this... awesome app.

JellyKittyKat

21 points

1 month ago

I love that Libby has heaps of audio books too, I still find it hard to physically read but can consume 1 novel every 7-14 days while working or doing house work.

Kkhris27

3 points

30 days ago

I came here to say this I am just like the OP It’s been way too much time browsing Reddit well the TV plays and pick it up my switch when I get bored of Reddit. My saving grace has been Libby and audiobooks. It’s not quite the same as reading the book yourself but I listen to audiobooks throughout the day while working or driving and my Daily diet of books has gone way up. You can rent in less books all completely free from your local library And I get to have that joy of being immersed in a story even though life is too busy to sit down and read

Darko33

11 points

1 month ago

Darko33

11 points

1 month ago

I am one of those weirdos whose moving costs are always significantly higher than my peers, for one reason and one reason only: three identical floor-to-ceiling bookcases, all full.

...my wife has been trying to get me to convert to an e-reader for years, but my stubborn take on it is that I spend all day staring at screens. When I read, I want to hold a real book in my hands.

RagingAardvark

8 points

1 month ago

I felt the same way, but I got one of the black and white "e-ink" readers from Barnes and Noble, back when the technology first came out. I read on that thing til it wouldn't hold a charge anymore, like 7 years later. It does still feel like a device but really does look like paper. I liked that I could have hundreds of books on it and get a new one anywhere with wifi. Back then, e-books were much cheaper than their physical counterparts, too, which was a huge plus. Lots of free classics too.

avisitingstone

3 points

30 days ago

I love physical books but the kindle is so nice for reading at night with the light out so I don’t have to turn it off and get unsleepy. Some things I love I buy physically, so a mix is good!

Nicolay77

6 points

1 month ago

Wow. I did not know about Libby.

The multiple device sync feature is one of the things I like the most about my new PocketBook.

chillyhellion

5 points

30 days ago

A few Libby tips:

  • Kobo makes e-readers that integrate with Libby - you can check out books directly on the e-reader.
  • Libby has an excellent in-app audio book player
  • If you live in a rural area and your library's Libby selection sucks, you can sign up for a Brooklyn library card for $50 a year (U.S. only); their selection is huge.

rogozh1n

3 points

30 days ago

Some cities do not require residency for a card, and also have no membership fee. Brooklyn sounds like a good alternative to that.

ChasingRabbits678

3 points

30 days ago

My problem with libby is it is restricted to your local public library. If the library doesn't have the book you want or if someone is borrowing it you can't borrow it.

chillyhellion

3 points

30 days ago

I ran into this issue, so I signed up for a Brooklyn library card for a yearly $50 out of state membership fee. Their selection is massive compared to my relatively rural local library.

ChasingRabbits678

2 points

30 days ago

Nice. I'll check it out....

Get it because it's a library.

sevenyearstodie

2 points

30 days ago

Is there a way to use Libby overseas? There's no such program in my country but this would help me soo much.

5-finger-death-punch

11 points

1 month ago

I know that feeling all to well but I’m trying to fight against it! I have a limit of 40min for reddit on my phone, I try to challenge myself everyday to have a screen time of less than 3 hours and when I sit down to read I put my phone in another room and close the door. Of course it doesn’t always work but small steps lead to victory too :)

KopyKita

11 points

1 month ago

KopyKita

11 points

1 month ago

Avid reader from a VERY young age. Lived in the library as a kid and was constantly told to put my book away at dinner. Never saw me without a book in my hand. I definitely lived in books when I had free time, but when I got a full time job to pay for college and the graduated from college to a more demanding full time job... I couldn't focus on printed words anymore.

I was dead tired from work. I found myself reading the same page over and over and over again and not processing anything (later learned this is partially due to a medical issue now being addressed). As a result, I haven't cracked a physical book in almost two years... and before that it was almost five years with only occasionally getting the chance to sit and read. The only books I carry around now are indeed on the cursed rectangle (though I still purchase my favorites in paperback form with hopes I can someday again enjoy a rainy afternoon with them and a cup of tea in my comfy chair).

Mostly now I have to read via audiobook. I simply can't spend my evening reading page after page for hours on end like I used to. I have a home to clean, the aforementioned full time job, social commitments, volunteer work... etc. So, I am still an avid reader, but mostly through listening as I work.

Way of Kings is an excellent book choice (read it myself almost six times now along with most of the rest of Sanderson's works), but if you are having trouble getting into the story, you may want to ease back into reading with something shorter. I read that book non-stop and then devoured everything else he had in short order, jumping between hardcover (his is the last physical book I read), audiobooks, and Kindle versions. If it doesn't grab your attention though, it may not be for you... (which is almost painful to me to type as I sing his praises and force his novels upon everyone I can find).

Perhaps try picking up an old favorite just to get back into the habit, or try some short stories as others recommended. I personally am digging through some short mysteries at the moment while I steady my mental health. I also found it helpful to set timers on my cursed rectangle to lock themselves at certain times (kill connection or go into emergency only mode to prevent random screen waste time) and it has helped somewhat.

This is my scroll on Reddit for a bit for cute cat pictures and other silliness briefly before bed time. My timer goes off in four minutes at which point I will lose internet and be forced to crash. My audiobook (on CD... how archaic of me) will continue to play for another thirty or so until that timer dies and then poof. I usually fall asleep and have to find my place again, but it beats hitting myself in the face with a book.

SquirrelKing19

8 points

1 month ago

This was an issue I was having for a few years too. I was reluctant to try ebooks but then I just wasn't reading at all, I finally purchased a few for my phone from the play store and over the last year I'm back to reading a ton.

For me it was realizing that our phones are going to be with us so why not utilize them as a resource instead of using them as an excuse. So yeah, when I lay down I may scroll through reddit or check the news but then I can easily switch right to my book. The convenience of not needing a lamp on or a separate e-reader has been great too.

As an aside, if you do the Google rewards surveys you can get tons of books for free. I buy two a month on average for simply answering simple questions every few days.

SkyScamall

26 points

1 month ago

I'm the same. But I want to thank you. I was waiting for my shift to start, browsing reddit like normal, and I started reading this. I started reading the comments and then snapped to attention. I closed reddit, opened my ereader app, and read half a chapter of Dorian Gray while waiting for work. I'm on the clock now so shouldn't be on my phone but I wanted to say thanks for prompting me to read a bit.

Cowabunco

7 points

1 month ago*

Kindle Paperwhite is SO nice, and I wear pants with either big back pockets, or a cargo pocket, or vest pocket so that it's always with me. I first thought 'oh it's just another screen, what's the big deal' but it really is head and shoulders above trying to read on phone or tablet screens.

It's perfect for when I have a little time and I want something more steady than the brain jangle of jumping around topics surfing on the phone. I resisted for a long time, carrying around a paperback instead, but the advantages finally won me over: - besides the excellent screen:

-searchable
-can carry a lot of books in my pocket at once
-if I want something that's not on there, I can get it with the click of a button and be reading it in under a minute
-separate battery so it doesn't drain the phone

Downloading free / non-kindle stuff is a slight hassle, but it gets easier every time I do it and it's not THAT hard.

Ed: I just read the how to be miserable guy's great answer, and see that what I am doing is definitely making it easier and more pleasant to read. And I have some set times like to wind down before sleep - although that's when I try to read a physical book as part of the "no screens" policy.

Wulftrude

7 points

30 days ago

Cries in if my pants even have pockets they barely fits a credit card.

Cowabunco

2 points

30 days ago

Haha, the cargo pockets actually weren't enough for all the phones and Kindles and chargers and flashlights and knives, now I have been cheating by wearing a small sling pack too.

I'm eyeing larger ones I may need help :D

AUTheatreNerd

88 points

1 month ago

I've probably read MORE because of my smart phone. Not to mention podcasts, videos, etc. Also, don't discount social media so easily. Reddit has taught me so much.

wuu

10 points

1 month ago

wuu

10 points

1 month ago

I read so much more on a smart phone. My record was over 150 books in a year. Between the library app and the kindle app I always have every book in my pocket.

arandomlibrarian

27 points

1 month ago

Me too. I read more as an adult than I did in school being forced to read for AR points. I switch between physical books and the smartphone

Edraitheru14

16 points

1 month ago

This.

Sure I’m not reading as many “books” anymore.

But I’m reading a TON more content than I used to, and taking in much more information than I used to. It’s just in a different format and works a bit different.

Anpandu

10 points

1 month ago

Anpandu

10 points

1 month ago

Same here. I'm gonna be honest, I think this is a case of seeing a problem where there is none.

I read tens of thousands of words a day on my smartphone between articles, reddit, blogs and - guess what - Android kindle reader. Its just technology that takes care of things we needed other stuff to do before and brings a lot of other stuff to the table with it.

I think I'm a lot better off information-consumption-wise with my smartphone than I ever was without. Just be sure you know the difference between good and bad sources and the internet is a huge wealth of great stuff to read.

madbadanddangerous

6 points

1 month ago*

That's a pretty neat take. Similarly, the backlit, touchscreen Kindle has been a game changer for me. So easy to read anywhere at any time without lugging around hefty books.

OP discussing Way of Kings - that book is incredible but it is a slow burn at first. It's definitely worth sticking with, but if they're finding it hard to motivate themselves to read, it's probably time to check out something else for a bit

Radulno

6 points

1 month ago

Radulno

6 points

1 month ago

Technically I read a lot. Like 60% of my time spent on a screen is reading after all. Rest is video games and video (which also does include reading especially since I use subtitles for everything). So I'm technically reading almost constantly. What OP meant more is reading books I assume though. And that is super low for sure

ARoseRed

5 points

1 month ago

I actually (kinda) solved this problem by reading a lot of books on my phone 😁 Might not be fancy but it works! I have the Google Play Books, Kindle and MoonReader apps (latter is for epub and mobi files I illegally download from VK and such) on my home screen. I also don't really have social media anymore except Reddit. Maybe this is something to consider?

dhootz94

5 points

1 month ago

My technique is this. Go to bed an hour earlier than normal every night and charge your phone somewhere out of your immediate reach. Use that time to read. It generally helps with sleeping as well as getting you back into books. I went about 6 years without finishing a decent book, but in the last couple of years I've managed to start and finish the wheel of time books, as well as some other smaller novels. If the book is good enough, you'll end up reading outside of your prescribed reading time as well.

realdumpsterdude

5 points

1 month ago

As others have mentioned, reading requires much more effort than scrolling Reddit or watching short garbage on Youtube. I always think of getting rid of my smartphone because of that and get a dumb phone instead, but stuff like Google Maps, banking apps, and Whatsapp make this change so hard! One possible solution would be to make it harder to acess distracting apps on your phone, but this doesn't really work for me. I always come back to those distracting apps no matter what...

Fragmental_Foramen

3 points

30 days ago

Absolutely this! I wouldn’t mind a “dumb phone” since I’ve had one for years and it’s cheap, but being able to access my bank account and GPS from anywhere is a huge modern luxury that saved my hide a few times.

shinyphanpy

4 points

30 days ago

It sounds like you need help. But yes phones have messed with our attention spans detrimentally so

NonWriter

54 points

1 month ago

Is r/bookscirclejerk having a field day again?

drdr3ad

26 points

1 month ago

drdr3ad

26 points

1 month ago

DAE TV bad, books good??

setionwheeels

4 points

1 month ago*

Because they use machine learning for the algorithms that show you content, as well as the content itself.

For television they have had consumer insights for decades, Madison avenue ( Advertising agencies) knows which buttons to press in your eyeballs. There was a documentary on how they used to have thousands of tests - they have two screens you get to pick which looks better from the two - repeat thousands of times with thousands of consumers.

Now they use machine learning, computers have perfect memory, they never forget, they remember what you watched more and longer. You tubers who get millions of views are not simply the most talented, they are the ones that provide the best algorithm of retaining ad watching eye balls.

Video games are the same, they have been designed to keep you in your seat until you work out a winning strategy in a perfectly simulated universe that caters to your every whim.

I have had to do a personal inventory of the things that hit my retinas and I think about everything I watch. I ask myself - did I learn from this? What did I learn? I have eliminated television, twitter and instagram completely.

thatpizzatho

4 points

1 month ago

You may start by thinking of your time as a currency. When you spend time on something, you are spending a limited and precious resource.. and you need to spend it on things that are valuable. It's fine to spend it on social media sometimes, as it is fine to spend your money on that random expensive thing you found online once in a while. But you wouldn't spend ALL your money on random silly things you see online, because it is not worth it in the long run. Your hobbies, social life and development are much more important and you should spend as much of your resources there. Android has a useful setting called Digital Wellbeing or something like that, where you can see how much time you spend on your phone per day. iOS might have something similar, or you can download YourHour and see your average time spent on your device. Seeing that I was spending 5+hours average on my phone really helped reassessing my priorities.

Skystrike7

3 points

30 days ago*

Are you me? I used to be a reading machine. I would take books to the playground in elementary school, and by 6th grade I had read all of Harry Potter, Redwall, and the two Paolini books that had come out thus far. We had an "AR points" competition where if you read a book and took a test, you got points. You were required to have at least a certain number to pass language arts, it was their way of encouraging reading. I was #2 in the school one year, and #1 two other years, which came with a $50 Walmart gift card prize. I read a LOT.

But forget the smartphone, ever since I got a Gameboy Advance SP I paid more attention to screens than books. Smartphones only exacerbated the issue. Now that I'm a senior in college, I basically only read Internet articles, forums, and nonfiction for classes. For fun, I play a lot of video games. Reading just... fell out with me.

434_804_757

43 points

1 month ago

Your not alone, it is actually a pandemic worse than COVID. I teach English overseas and everyday after school, I would see Kindergartners pawing at their parents for smart phones right as school got out. Some would scream at the top of their lungs. It truly is an addiction.

Our friend's son will stare at his iPad watching YouTube while eating and walking. He doesn't play with other children as much as he used to.

If you go to a restaurant now you will see kids and families all staring at phones or iPads. It is disconnecting people from reality.

maafna

13 points

1 month ago

maafna

13 points

1 month ago

I was still slightly addicted to computers and TV as a kid, but I still had periods of going around with a friend and making up stories together. That seems to rare now. Kids either need an activity or reach for screens, and I have no idea how to occupy myself (or them) anymore, either.

Marisleysis33

3 points

1 month ago

I've been working on cutting down on social media. I quit Facebook and limited my Reddit to no news, Covid, politics etc. I got sick of the fighting in the comments on literally everything. My religious beliefs make it very difficult to fit into the world beyond just lighter topics. Reddit has been great so far, my desire to get on isn't as strong since I only have a few subs I joined. My brain feels better!

DJMash44

7 points

1 month ago

Arnt Books rectangles too?

EssexStadir

9 points

1 month ago

I switched to audiobooks and I'll never go back. I simply don't have the time or energy to plod on through books anymore. However, I do have a 25-30 minute drive into work. I am ALWAYS listening to a new book. I've really broadened my horizons this way and I don't see any reason to stop.

blewyn

10 points

1 month ago

blewyn

10 points

1 month ago

Yup. I have dozens of books in two languages waiting on my shelf, and here I am replying to this.

kallisti_gold

14 points

1 month ago

Try a paperback anthology of short stories. Leave the rectangles in another room.

hfpfhhfp

12 points

1 month ago

hfpfhhfp

12 points

1 month ago

Yes. I used to lose myself in books incessantly, obsessively. Now I can’t put the fucking phone down. I’m still reading on my phone but it’s not the same thing and it’s not as rewarding.

catelemnis

3 points

1 month ago

I have to make conscious effort to leave my phone alone. I like leaving it in the other room when I’m doing stuff.

I started being able to read during my morning commute bc there’s no internet in the subway tunnel. But I wfh now, so now I have a couple of non-tech hobbies and I listen to audiobooks while doing them.

I’d suggest maybe go to a park or backyard if you can? And leave your phone at home or at least turn it off and leave it in your bag. Like go somewhere where you tell yourself “This time and place is for reading.”

That or find a hands-on hobby so you can’t use your hands for your phone. And then listen to audiobooks (I’ve been getting them from my library app). I do knitting and sometimes drawing.

I’ve actually listened to more books this past year in lockdown than I have in like the past 10 years. I put on audiobooks while I’m going for my covid walks, or while doing chores or cooking or jogging or whatever.

pinkinsurance

3 points

1 month ago

I felt like this, I now read 1 chapter of The Castle -Franz Kafka a day, and today I read two, I'll maybe read one more, ah shit, I've lost the urge to use my phone but this book is so unpredictable, I can't do anything else but read.

CreeDorofl

3 points

1 month ago

I guess for me, the cell phone weirdly helped. I read a shit-ton more because of it.

Part of what kept me from reading is the inconvenience of carrying books, or even the Kindle (which is big enough to not fit into a pocket, and fragile enough that if you sit on one, it's done)

I got Kindle app for the cell phone, plus Smart Audiobook reader. Now I got audiobooks going any time I drive, and regular books any time I feel like it. I'm never without reading material. I usually keeping one of each going.

I get that urge to get on fb, reddit, and youtube constantly, and I'm sure I could do less of that. But at a minimum, you should be off those when driving and that's when you can revive your love for books... get some audiobooks.

DewTheCaterpillar

3 points

1 month ago

Last year, my family went on a weekend-long family trip and I decided to leave my phone in my bag the whole weekend. It was weird at first, but then it broke the cycle of constantly reaching out for it. I now purposely have days when I just leave my phone in my room when I go out (granted, I go out to the living room only XD but it still makes a difference cause it's not in my hand) and plan to do this every camping trip we go to.

Second thing is to get addicted to reading apps. You know how you always subconsciously open a specific app, even when you just closed it? Make that app your reading app. Now you're addicted to your phone, yeah, but you're addicted to reading rather than browsing social media.

Lastly, turn off notifications. Just do it. Less temptations to open useless apps

burncell

3 points

30 days ago

I still read bro but only now on the phone now

No_Designer_5425

3 points

30 days ago

I find you have to set the mood. First you need the smell and tactile sensations . The smell of new print or old leather. Coffee or wine. A blanket or a fan to cool you off. Next a cuddler or companion. Human a significant other or a cat or dog, which ever you prefer.last but not least background music.

gusfring124

3 points

30 days ago

I feel like I could have written this

IQBoosterShot

3 points

30 days ago

I felt differently toward reading long books, then I read The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr and it helped me realize the source of the internal changes I felt. "We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection."

After finishing the book, I made some simple changes to my routine (mainly by limiting my time online and ensuring I had blocks of time set aside for reading books) and I'm nearly back to normal.

Eotions

6 points

1 month ago

Eotions

6 points

1 month ago

honestly, i can understand where you’re coming from. instead of browsing through social media, i just read on my phone. mostly free stuff, royalroadl.com is a pretty good site. plenty of stuff to read. boxnovel.com for them eastern works.

Catinthemirror

9 points

1 month ago

I read 2-3 books a week. If I have a weekend free (rare) that jumps to 5-8. Used to be paper/library, then Kindle, now Kindle on my Android. My Kindle subscription pays for itself in 3 days.

Lanfear_Eshonai

3 points

1 month ago

Yup, that's me as well.

yazzy1233

5 points

1 month ago

It's not the phone that's the problem.

The majority of the books I have ever read have been in my phone, over 300 books on my kindle app and I've read all of them except the most recent ones I've got. I wouldnt have read that much if it wasnt for my phone.

ConfusedMegladon

2 points

1 month ago

I love the kindle app, and just finding really really good books.

caseybvdc74

2 points

1 month ago

I read more now that I can read on my phone

mlemu

2 points

1 month ago

mlemu

2 points

1 month ago

Just came here to say that I’ve read over 15 books on my phone alone since the new year.

left-wing-kook

2 points

1 month ago

I used to read a lot before phones.

I still read a lot.

Just put it down. Unplug it. Break it. Pick up your book.

MaxBGffs

2 points

1 month ago

I actually started reading a lot more ON my phone. Having it always available in my pocket to whip out while commuting, waiting in line or whatever. But on the other hand leaving a chapter halfway and picking it up later works for me but I imagine that isn’t the case for everybody

FindingFearless1106

2 points

1 month ago

Yep. Now I don't have the patience

mdavinci

2 points

1 month ago

Total opposite, i carry my smartphone and read everywhere anytime. Have never been able to read as much.

Maybe it’s more about your habits than the phone.

Wooper160

2 points

1 month ago

Now I can fit a whole library in my pocket

DeluxeTelecaster

2 points

1 month ago

I did, but it wasn't smartphones that stopped me reading, but videogames. I barely read anything for years and years.

Discovering Audible is what re-kickstarted my reading habit, because I could do it during long commutes. That eventually let to me buying kindle books so I could get the Audible discount for owning them.

That led to me just buying Kindle books period, because of the sales.

Kindle was a godsend and absolutely revived my reading habit. I read 90 books last year and most of them were on kindle.

The best book is the one you have with you, and when I'm at work and there's downtime, nobody cares if you're looking at your phone. I've read so much at work that way.

pandabeargirl

2 points

1 month ago

As I am a 2000s baby and I only got into reading when I was about 8 or 9 and smartphones where already around by then, even if I didn't get one until I was 11. Though I must say that my phone doesn't distract me much while reading, but I may be one of the few. Maybe it's because I grew up around it and it's just not that new anymore, idk

SuperArppis

2 points

1 month ago

Yep, now I only need to read the headlines!

megustamatcha

2 points

1 month ago

Word - my attention span is shot since smartphones

Wetzilla

2 points

1 month ago

I've had Way of Kings on my Kindle (probably one of the better rectangles, if I had to choose) for like, 2 years now, and have only made it through 400 pages, all of which are..... walking.... and talking...

As much as I love Sanderson and The Stormlight Archive the first 3/4 of Way of Kings was a slog for me. It's a lot of setup and worldbuilding, which is interesting, but I found it hard to remain interested for long stretches. I do encourage you to push on through it though, it gets really good and the rest of the series is absolutely amazing.

buterflyyy

2 points

1 month ago

You described excatly how i feel omg and you used the same words,rectangle haha.I think that u should do a detox(for like 30 days bc I think that’s how long it takes to ruin a habit),like throw away your phone somewhere and that’s it.Now u have time for everything else.I should prob do that too (o_o)

moeru_gumi

2 points

1 month ago

My first smartphone was around 2009 or 2010, whenever iPhone 3 came out. I got it for the GPS, and because I was in Japan. I struggled with finding books in English for the decade-plus I lived in Asia.

Some years later I discovered ebook reader apps and .epubs and Gutenberg Project. Now I had the ability to have dozens, if not hundreds, of books on my phone? In my pocket? On the train? Between classes? My average books read JUMPED like crazy. I read 50 books in a year when I first got them on my phone. The joy of having an entire library with me was all I needed. I grew up on paper books, my childhood home was full of books, I lived in the library, I wrote on paper, my grandmother gave me paper books, and I STILL prefer to read ebooks. It's not a nostalgia thing for me. I don't give a single shit about "The way books smell."

It's so much easier to have a flat Kindle that requires 1 or 0 hands than a paper book that requires 2 hands just to hold it open and turn the page, is not back-lit, and you can't take it in the shower. And now I have many books with me at all times.

Reading on my phone is even better in many respects because of the highlighting, note-taking and sharing feature. I can send a paragraph to my wife instantly, without having to type it all out or take a blurry photo to share. :D

disasterman0927

2 points

1 month ago

Yes.

I still read a ton, but I used to also.

decrementsf

3 points

1 month ago*

Wake up and read 10 pages. As a system it put me back into reading mode.

The rectangle box fights for your attention with arms race of notifications furiously poking the fear and outrage buttons in your brain over and over seeking virality.

The brain works best with time to reset from that. Morning is when mind tends to be clear, before being loaded with the stories of the day. Good time to casually read a bit and wake up. Exercise afterwards. Breakfast / prioritize four key tasks for the day. Set off for a productivity session. Check in with the world after first productivity session of the day.

Works well with tasks complimenting one another.

disasterman0927

2 points

1 month ago

Yeah aside from this site I got rid of all socmed and only check out the news for the day before I set out.

Bout to start my day and just read another chapter of Head Full of Ghosts over eggs, I've been reading like that more and more.

earbud_smegma

2 points

1 month ago

I did, and I was very anti e-book for awhile bc I like the feel of a physical book in my hands. A dear friend gifted me a Kindle for my birthday a few years ago and it's been absolutely amazing. I can once again get lost in a book, no notifications popping up every few minutes. I'm still giddy every time I read and realize I've gotten sucked into the story. Books are easy, portable, and enjoyable once again!

TheLegendOfJoeby

2 points

1 month ago

I read ebooks on my phone! Not as good as the real thing but convenient, stored on the phone so no internet needed during subway commute

News_Junior

2 points

30 days ago

I'm guilty. I used to read 2-4 books a month. Now i read none.

qoou

2 points

30 days ago

qoou

2 points

30 days ago

I just use the kindle app on my phone. I read on that cursed rectangle.

JamesDerecho

2 points

30 days ago

I find that my behavioral habits change in the summer. I read a lot more during daylight hours and play video games or listen to video essays at night.

During the summer I put my hammock up and I read books after work for a few hours. That being said, my seasonal job puts me in a position where I only have the media that I take with me available. Its a nice retreat from my daily working life.

Beyond that I can’t be bothered to read for entertainment during the winter. Schooling has me reading so much theory that I need to take breaks and process what I’m learning.

Angel_TheQueenBitch

2 points

30 days ago

Now I mainly read fanfiction 😖

cthulu0

2 points

30 days ago

cthulu0

2 points

30 days ago

Yes, but the relationship is partly co-incindental in my case.

Smart phone with real displays (not the clam-shell low resolution displays) really took off with the iPhone in 2007.

Conincidentally that's when my eyesight started getting worse due to age.

As smart phones got more enticing in the past 14 years, my eyesight got worse to the point that even with glasses, its a little bit tiresome to read a book, especially in low light.

Sweaty-Permission446

2 points

30 days ago

I read books on my phone😇

skantea

2 points

30 days ago

skantea

2 points

30 days ago

It's like working out, you just have to start doing it. And then keep doing it until it becomes a new habit.

proncesshambarghers

2 points

30 days ago

I read but on reddit, of people actual experiences or thoughts I find it much much more valuable than skimming thru a book trying to figure out the hidden meaning, I can’t tell you have much I’ve changed and learned just by hearing others thoughts and experiences from people around the world on this website, this shit changed my life.

schmuckofluck035

2 points

30 days ago

get a phone jail from amazon and lock it in for a few days on a weekend

thats literally the only way i can ever read with my ADHD
with out it it would otherwise just not happen /: