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I’ve written about my trouble with reading before. It is puzzling to me, why I have not been able to develop the habit of sitting in a place and immersing myself in a book.

The only reading practise I continued from my childhood was reading the newspaper. I gave that up in 2019. I briefly restarted in 2020 and then read something that had me completely convinced, that I should stay away from current affairs.

So, I stopped reading newspapers.

I feel annoyed with myself for not being able to quietly peruse a book. Every time I find a nook and sit myself down with a book, I either get distracted by my phone or I get drowsy. I keep my phone nearby because I try to look up a word or a reference and boom—I’m lost browsing on my phone.

I have also had a strong association with, believe it or not, ‘wasting time’. I have struggled with feelings of—I’m ‘wasting time reading a book’, when I could be doing something ‘more useful’. Sigh. Don’t ask me where those feelings came from. I have no clue; maybe my childhood, maybe my own judgements about people I saw as too bookish.

But these are excuses that don’t stand up well.

I think it is years of training my brain to chase dopamine through a screen, which makes any focused reading—that isn’t as rewarding in the short-term—unappealing.

I started reading a book months ago. I haven’t even gotten to the half mark. What’s the big deal? I should just read.

I don’t think there is anything else to it.