Why Reading Is Hard

Shyrwinsteel Sia
Shyrwinsteel Sia Sep 1, 2021 ยท 2 min read

I have learned that there are two things that make reading hard.

  1. Unfamiliarity. The ideas in the book are bizarre to you because you haven’t encounter them before. Sometimes they are so nonsensical that it is hard to even comprehend what it’s saying. This is usually because we haven’t had the experience or the prerequisite ideas to understand the concepts.

  2. Abstractions. The ideas in the book are not concrete. They do not have easily translatable examples and cannot be explained though any of our senses. Because of this, it is difficult to grasp what it is saying.

But only those books that have either of these two or both that is worth reading. There is no reason for you to read a book that already validates what you know. Reading a book is like expanding your mental toolkit. It should give you a different perspective and because of that, broadens your views. This will help you not only articulate your own points but also understand where others are coming from.

New ideas are like new weapons in your arsenal and abstractions help you simplify your ideas into higher level ones, and in turn become more applicable to a broader set of situations.

New ideas are like new weapons in your arsenal.

Reading never gets easy and it shouldn’t. Because like going to the gym, reading is mental exercise. And there is no point in doing it if it is not deliberate and challenging. Only then we can gain that strength.