12 Disadvantages Of Reading Every Reader Should Know

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12 Disadvantages Of Reading Every Reader Should Know

Reading is a pleasurable hobby. Although many people find joy within the pages of books, there are several disadvantages of reading.

We should not ignore the negative effects of reading. Instead, we should educate ourselves so we know when our reading hobby has turned into something unhealthy.

At first, I only thought of 5 disadvantages to reading books. But then, I realize there were more that I wasn’t even aware of until I talked to some fellow readers!

Why stop at 5 disadvantages of reading when there are a ton more cons to reading that we should be aware of?

Here are 12 disadvantages of reading every reader should know!

12 Disadvantages Of Reading Books

1. Time Consuming

Reading is a time consuming hobby, especially if you’re not a fast reader.

Reading certain genres takes longer than others because they might not be easy to understand.

Like with every other hobby, there’s an opportunity cost to reading. Reading will take up your free time and therefore you are unable to do other activities.

If you want to simplify your reading goals and keep track of them so they don’t take up too much of your time, get this FREE yearly planner!


2. Expensive Hobby

Reading is an expensive hobby. The prices of books have been skyrocketing. 

Besides, there’s a limited edition/sprayed edge/signed copy version of almost every book in the market.

Other than purchasing books, once you become a fan of a certain fiction series – you’re most likely going to spend money on the merch too – which is definitely not cheap. 

3. Lack Of Sleep

If your reading habit goes out of hand, you might be sacrificing sleep for more reading time.

This is especially true if you have an e-book reader like kindle – reading becomes possible even in the dark!

Continuous lack of sleep will of course impact your health and the ability for you to focus the next day.

4. Escapism

disadvantages of reading
Image by Taryn Elliot From Pexels

This is also one of the disadvantages of reading fiction books!

Reading is a great way to escape your current life (yes, including your current life problems).

It is okay to read for escapism if it is done moderately. When in excess, it starts to negatively impact your wellbeing because you ignore your next step in life – example, to study for a test or to apply for job opportunities. 

Reading makes you want to ignore the challenges of life.

In some cases, it can go as far as a serious addiction to reading and not taking care of your basic needs and hygiene. 

5. Sedentary Lifestyle

Reading for long periods of time on a regular basis is pretty unhealthy. This is because reading is a sedentary hobby. You are seated in one spot for a long period of time.

This obviously replaces your time for active hobbies or exercise.

Plus, if you’re anything like me – I love having some dessert or a cup of coffee with the book I’m reading. 

In other words, inactivity plus intake of calories can be really bad for your health if you do it all the time.

disadvantages of reading
Image from Libro.fm

One way to incorporate reading into a healthy lifestyle – audiobooks. With audiobooks, you can do chores, take a walk or hit the gym while reading!

Libro.fm is great if you want to maximise your audiobook membership! You get two free audiobook credits when you sign up!

6. Not As Environmentally Friendly

disadvantages of reading

Reading physical books is not the best option for the environment because they are made out of paper. 

However, there are always ways to improve this – by reading on an e-book reader like a kindle or listen to an audiobook.

I love my kindle paperwhite 5 very much! It has helped me save money, read a ton of books and also be more environmentally conscious!

7. Takes Mental Effort And Space

One of the negative effects of reading is that it is a hobby that takes mental effort – to concentrate, understand and interpret.

So at times, reading can be a chore. Especially if you pick a book that is mentally challenging or out of your reading comfort zone.

If you’re still in school or college, reading additional books to the textbooks you already have may be exhausting. 

This is definitely one of the disadvantages of reading too much that you’ll have to work your way around.

8. Not A Hobby You Can Multitask 

Unless you read an audiobook, reading is not a hobby that you can do simultaneously with something else. 

This is because you need a certain level of focus and understanding when it comes to reading.

Unlike hobbies that can be done on autopilot (gaming, knitting, cooking, etc), reading needs your full attention so you can get maximum satisfaction.

9. Makes You Less Agreeable 

One of the most debatable disadvantages of books is that they make you less agreeable/likeable.

If you’re reading books, you’re most likely going to be knowledgeable. And when you’re knowledgeable, it is hard to be ignorant to certain issues.

You might find yourselves having different opinions from others – this can make you less agreeable from a social standpoint and can also cause you to be disliked.

However, don’t be discouraged by this – you can find like-minded people who appreciate your point of view on certain issues.

If you’re struggling with making friends, try befriending someone who reads! They might be able to relate to you.

Read More: Buddy Reading: 6 Steps Every Bookstagrammer Needs To Know

10. Takes Up Physical Space

Reading might cause you to buy and collect books.

At times, it is not just one book per title but many different editions of the same book!

You’re not alone though, many readers do this!

However, if you don’t have much space in your room, it’s going to be a problem. 

If your bookshelves are becoming full of books, one suggestion would be to get a book cart – not only is it convenient to store and is mobile, but it is also aesthetic and great for photos!

11. Emotionally Draining

Warning, reading can be emotionally draining. This is especially true if you read a heart-breaking book. 

Sometimes, this can also cause you to have a book hangover and therefore go into a reading slump.

This happened to me when I read The Question of Red by Lakshmi Pamuntjak. I was sad for weeks and could not get over the book. 

Read More: 25 Tips On How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

12. You Value Yourself Based On How Many Books You Read

This is quite a common problem among readers – we set reading goals and start to track them and then get disappointed if we don’t meet that goals.

Some of us are book influencers and we get disappointed when we don’t see much engagement on our bookstagram, book blog or any other platforms.

Be kind to yourself, here is a reminder that you are not the books you read – you are much more than that.

Read More: Bookstagram Engagement Tips

FAQ on The Disadvantages of Reading

Can Reading Have Negative Effects?

Yes, reading can negatively impact your physical and mental well-being. Reading is a sedentary hobby so it’s not going to help you get active in the long-run. Plus, reading can also be emotionally exhausting which may impact your mental well-being.

Wrap Up: Cons of Reading Every Reader Should Know

I hope these disadvantages of reading does not discourage you from reading.

Instead, I hope it empowers you with knowledge so you can take matters into your own hands and make reading less of a disadvantage but more of a positive lifestyle change.

Just like there are some pros and cons to reading, there will always be a list of advantages and disadvantages on any hobby, so remember to not read too much into this post and do what feels best for you!

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