I've searched the Stackexchange sites and found several potentially good places to ask this question but I have eventually chosen here as here where I personally found it best fits.

I'm an academic student and a language learner, autodidact, researcher, enthusiast and translator. Theoretically, I like philosophy, literature, culturally and mentally enriching works of writing, knowledge, books, etc and etc; but as mentioned, all just theoretically, not practically at all, and this is because of one reason, and that is I dislike reading; most of the time I just hate the idea of "what about reading that book right now" or "I must read this article on Stackexchange, it includes exactly all I need to know of a very valuable information that matters so much to me". Reading bores me way too much more than merely sitting on my a** for an hour doing just nothing. Reading makes me very nervous that, no longer than a couple of minutes after I start reading something, I start scrubbing my scalp, vibrating my legs and wonder when the time will come where I would have finished whatever I'm reading. Also, I feel that my eyes start confusing the lines sometimes, and because I wear glasses, when I'm reading off a screen, I find myself reading from above my glasses because it seems it practically comforts me more, and that is not medically good of course. I think I sometimes even get heavy breathing reading because I don't have enough patience and it seemingly makes me too nervous. Now that's exactly what I don't need in my career and my field of study, I have so very big ambitions and dreams that require me to sit still and READ, and just read; and that obviously, I can't do.

My question is, if there's a method or a solution that somebody knows, scientific (I'm physically a very active person by nature) or practical, to solve this misery of mine and save my future?

  • Under-desk exerciser? Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:29
  • Are you asking if I am or is this a suggested solution? Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:31
  • 2
    @SolarMike -- You make me feel even more guilty :D. This would be a good but very short temporary solution. Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:50
  • 1
    It’s about focus... that was my point...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:51
  • 2
    My "solution" decades ago was literally to "take cigarette breaks". Too bad it's not good for you... Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 20:59

3 Answers 3


All of the symptoms that you describe sound like symptoms of a reading or attentional issue. My wife has a doctorate in psycholinguistics and thinks that you're describing someone who should talk to their school or university psychologist or reading counsellor. They could give you information on how to deal with the anxiety you feel when reading and help you learn strategies to enjoy reading.

Good luck!

  • He should consider also to make a personality test. personalitypage.com/html/INTJ.html Many researchers I spoke with made like me the test and ended INTJ, altough only a minority have this disposition. So the test seems a good first step to spot where your abilities and interests are. I often have the impression students here are forced by themselves or parents to be successful academics, yet not really having the according mindset or asking how to make an academic career more easy (an oxymoron) Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 11:24
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    Nervousness, trouble sitting still, a near-painful reaction to a task that requires some extent of effortful direction of focus (better to do nothing than to try to focus on such a task), etc - all very much signs that it would be wise to talk with a counselor, +1 for good advice.
    – BrianH
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 15:51
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    Interesting...Psycholinguistics has been my absolutely all the time favourite field! Thanks. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 19:48
  1. Keep a notebook and write down some thoughts about what you read. Do it very lightly, like journaling. Not with any expectation of taking action on the notes (although you may), but just so there is some way for you to interact with the work.

    Make it very light and personal. OK to call something a piece of shit in your private remarks. But you can also note ideas sparked or things to bring up in other discussions--maybe circle those. But with no big pressure that you have to run everything down to ground. Don't write a lot. Just short amount, so you have some pseudo-interaction. It will be enough.

  2. I also like the suggestion of just training yourself by gradually longer reading experiences and with more difficult texts. You don't eat an elephant in one meal. You don't become a champion athlete in one workout. Need to progress and persevere. If you do it long enough, you will come to enjoy it. But don't expect it to be immediately entertaining.

  • +1 for both suggestions. I do something similar to suggestion 1, and find it helps my recall of what I've read, if I need to refer back to it later or carry on reading from that point.
    – Emma
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 7:12

Practice makes many things easier. I've always read a lot, so for me the act of reading disappears, and the information flows from the page into my brain.

I suggest gradually increasing doses. Pick a book that contains knowledge you very much want to have. Begin by reading a few pages at a time, then do something else. Gradually increase how much you read in one session.

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