Do People Read Anymore?

Josh L
3 min readApr 24, 2022


Spoiler alert: the answer is no

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

People have traded in books for more screen time.

Why is this?

The simple reason is that it takes more effort and time to read than to use your phone.

Let's get into some specific reasons.


While movie theatres have really been struggling since the beginning of covid, people still love to be entertained by a screen.

We enjoy watching movies and the latest hit tv shows that Netflix or Hulu has to offer.

While Netflix is currently at a historic low, I suspect them to make a comeback sometime within the year.

Reading and Chill doesn’t have the same catchiness as Netflix and Chill.


Watching takes less effort than reading.

When we read, it requires us to take our attention off of many things and instead focus it all on one thing: the page in front of us.

People don’t have the attention span for this.

Our phones can give us endless information at lighting speed 24/7.

Our brains have become addicted to this constant change in stimuli. We now have issues blocking things out and honing in our focus.

Productivity. Productivity. Productivity.

Our addiction to changes in stimuli is not helped by the culture we live in.

We live in a productivity-infused culture where we feel the need to constantly be going at all times.

Actually, we just need to trick ourselves into believing that we bring productivity even when we are not.

This is why we will put off important tasks to do something that doesn't have as big of an impact on us.

For example, instead of studying for a big test, we opt to organize our room or go shopping for new clothes.

This makes us feel we are being productive when in fact we are procrastinating.

How does this affect reading?

We feel as though we are being unproductive when we read a book.

This is funny when you compare the average screen time we have per day to the average time we spend reading.

While our phone use is generally not for productivity, we don’t seem to have an issue using it 10x more than we read, even though reading will give us a greater benefit.


If your friends and family don’t read, chances are you won’t either.

If you surround yourself with friends that enjoy reading, you will be more likely to enjoy it more yourself and thus do it more often.

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive friend group in your life.

What To Do Now

Reading is good for you.

It teaches you lessons that other people have already learned.

Someone’s lifelong lessons can be learned within a week or a month with a book.

Pretty crazy when you think about it.

Start small. Aim to read for 15 minutes every day.

If you can’t do that, start off with an interesting audiobook. Have it in the background as you are driving to work or doing chores.