How did you become a reader?

I was thinking today that I don’t read a ton in my native language, and how it makes reading in my second language feel like work.

It’s almost funny. I’ve been on lingq for a couple years now, and I love the process, but I still don’t consider reading for fun to be a natural part of my life


I’ve never been a reader in my native language either, but I became one after learning my second language. At the beginning of the process it did feel like necessary work and I knew that I had to do it to improve; starting with little texts, of course.
One day, however, one of my teachers told me that reading was the most important and helpful thing to do when learning a language. You can learn it by reading something you’re interested in. Second, not only does it help you gain and revise vocabulary, but also, when you have known enough words and are able to understand bigger texts, reading can make you able to think in the language you’re learning. By reading a book, for example, you get to picture and imagine everything described in the book in your head -all the characters, settings, dialogues, etc- as if a world is created in your mind in that second language.
That blew my mind, especially after experiencing it myself. Besides, the idea of learning the language and knowing something new about a topic at the same time made feel very productive. That, along with the benefits reading has for your mind and life in general, keep me encouraged and motivated to keep doing.


I got into reading for pleasure probably as soon as I learned to read (1st grade). I got bad eyesight eventually I think thanks to reading too much. As technology got better, I started listening to books instead of reading them but when you’re learning a foreign language you really need to slow down and look at the text - not just listen to it. As for why I love reading so much? I guess it’s like watching a movie or playing a good video game. I get totally absorbed and feel like I’m in another world.


For me it’s the opposite. I always thought I was a reader.
Until someday I realized I really wasn’t. Or misunderstood what I thought that meant.

I like exciting stories, I like characters that exemplify certain emotional traits and/or behaviours I admire. Lastly, I like the imagination.

As a result, I like only specific genres and books. But the same is true for movies. My favourite movie is King Arthur (2004) (strange choice I know) - not because of the acting or any else related to typical cinematography . But it’s basically an emotional excerpt in a larger - mostly untold - story that leaves a lot up to the imagination of the viewer.

I think most people enjoy stories. I think most people don’t like “all” stories. People are ready to admit they don’t like “all” types and genres of movies. I don’t see why not more people accept that they like reading, but don’t like reading “just anything” or read for the sake of reading.

To me, someone who says he is not a reader, just has not found the exact thing he/she likes reading yet.


The pleasure of reading rises as you understand more and more. I like reading to discover new things and learn at the same time.


I like reading books and listening to audiobooks, especially fiction stories. I’ve given up that hobby since I started learning Italian, unfortunately. It got pushed to a lower priority. I would like to get my Italian up to a high enough level to be able to read books again. I miss them.


This is exactly right. You have to find the things that interest you. I definitely don’t enjoy reading anything, but I love to read the things I do enjoy.

To reply to OP…
For me I started fairly young. I suppose to some degree I may not have enjoyed reading everything my parents or others bought me to read. I do remember really enjoying reading choose your own adventure style books and then quite a few fiction books grabbed me. As I became an adult I really liked to read non-fiction on some topics or hobbies that interested in me to learn everything I could about them. To this day I still enjoy this.

I’m pretty picky about the Fiction books I read and definitely not everything I’ve read has been great (to me). I do mostly like to use audio books now because I simply don’t have enough time to myself to read (other than for language learning now).

Reading in your target language is going to be a slog to some degree, particularly if it’s above your level. You just have to try and find things that interest you. Don’t just read for the sake of reading. Find something related to a hobby, or pick something to read about something that fascinates you. Or something that will help a skill you’re trying to acquire.


When I was a kid, everyone in my family read except for me, and the pressure was on. But I was interested in horses, like most little girls, I guess, and a couple books of horse stories later, I was reader. Then mysteries. Then sci-fi as a young teenager, which I still love. Then lots and lots of cool or classic literature books, biographies of artists, and lately, historical novels about the land of my ancestors, and other far-off places. It’s much more challenging for me in other languages; I’m not fluent enough yet to read just for the pleasure of it in French, say, unless the book is very very simple. I know eventually it will be easier, and hopefully as enjoyable as any good book in english. Someday…


That’s basically what’s happened with me. In high school, I would read a minimum of 30 books every year. Looking back, I have no idea how I did that. Now, I’m lucky to read a few books a year. I’ve been using Italian, though, as an opportunity to start reading books again, because I now have the further motivation of also using it to help improve my Italian.


It took me a while to get to a point where reading in Japanese actually felt like reading, more so than study.
I’m still not quite at the level where I will read just for the fun of it as learning is still the major motivator, so I’m not sure I’d consider myself as a “reader” but I do find myself getting invested in the story at times and reading more than I originally intended to.

There’s still occasions where it feels more like work, especially when I’m going through a chapter I’m not that invested in, but being able to read mostly extensively now (without dictionary look ups) makes a huge difference.
I took a small hit to my comprehension when I switched to extensive reading but received a 50% increase in my reading speed.
In the long run I think the extra exposure will make up for the reduced comprehension.


I’ve always been a heavy reader since very young, and have kept the habit. Books are usually way more creative and have juicer bits than media like shows or movies. TV & movies are more expensive to produce and so therefore have to cater to more of a mainstream audience - sure it’s interesting, but I’ve always found that reading gives more intimacy with a character or setting, and imagination & emotional resonance is vastly multiplied.

So the motivation has always been there for me to turn to books over other forms of media, and that’s just for fiction - non fiction, especially history… there is so much information density in the written form that it is hard to compete with.

In terms of how to become a reader - have set daily & weekly goals - learning to read chinese has been exhausting and painful at times (oh god the headaches I have gotten this past two years) but making sure I hit my minimums have now formed deep habits that would be impossible to break unless I get a brain injury or something. Also, it is very important to find what interests you - and it’s not the same for everyone. I love reading fantasy / romance, the trashier the better, but each reader needs to find their own drug of choice - read what you love, abandon what you don’t.


I started reading as an adult, because I wanted to try if I can build this habit. My goal was to read 10 minutes every morning before work. I started reading in my native language. I chose books that interested me, so very soon I wanted to read more than only these 10 minutes per day. And I started getting up earlier especially for reading. After a couple of books I switched to reading in English and Spanish.

That’s what I like about Lingq. If you want to read a book in your target language it’s a lot easier in Lingq than with a real book, because it’s faster to look up words.

Sadly I lost the habit, but I’m building it again. Now I’m reading my first book in Dutch.


I’ve started reading when i was about 14. My main interest at that time was politics, but now (17y) i prefer to study filosofy, theology, and other stuff .

At beginning, it was difficult to stablish an habit like any other activity, but as the time goes on, it became a “part of me” and i could read with better understanding and joy.

I think that the main thing to start reading with joy, is to read what you have interest in and, as you start liking it, you should be open to other topics.

Good literature it’s always edifying, besides being universal, because it’s talks about the human being in general and his experiences. Choose the classics! They’re always the best option!