Reading tips for the easily distracted

Many people find it difficult to stay focused while reading, which can be extremely frustrating. Here are some tips to help you retain concentration and keep you from getting distracted while reading.

Find your happy place

You may see people reading in the park or on public transport and wish you could do the same. The fact is that the ability to read anywhere isn’t necessarily possible for everyone. Finding a place that helps you to focus while you read is vital. 

Your happy reading space may just be at home on the couch or in bed under the covers. This is where most people find it best to read without distractions, so do not fret – you are not alone. Interesting fact; did you know that a “librocubicularist” is a person who reads in bed.

How to drown out the distractions

Different things work for different people, so you might need to go through a bit of trial and error before you find something that works for you. Here are a few ways to drown out the distractions and stay focused while reading:

  • Instrumental or ambient music in the background – This helps some, but of course it can be a distraction to others. Instead of any music at all, noise-cancelling headphones may just do the trick.
  • Listening to the audiobook – Listening along while reading may also be incredibly helpful to stay focused on the story. This can be quite dependent on an audiobook’s particular narrator, but overall, it’s a great way to get you engrossed in the story. It also helps to keep you moving forward without stopping to second-guess yourself about whether you’ve fully comprehended a particular sentence. 
  • Stop pressuring yourself – Just let go and enjoy the story unfolding before you. You don’t have to understand everything perfectly upon reading the first sentence. Just keep going. By doing this, you will eventually fall into a rhythm that allows you to become so engrossed in the story that you forget about everything else around you. 

It is also important to read books that you really want to read. Don’t bother trudging through books that aren’t holding your interest. There are too many books out there and too little time to waste slogging through one that’s not your cuppa tea.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Don’t think in quantity. You don’t have to read a book a day. It doesn’t matter how fast you can read or how many books you’ve read. It matters how much you are enjoying the process of reading; be it a book a day, a chapter a day, or a page a day. 


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Written by Taryn Hill

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