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Embracing the Challenge: Trustee Cabral Encourages Students to Read Even When It's Not Their Favorite Pastime

February 01, 2024

Cabral.jpgHello, fellow readers and non-readers alike! As we step into “I Love to Read" month, I find it essential to address a not-so-popular perspective: What if you don't particularly love reading? Yes, it's a month dedicated to celebrating reading, but let's talk about the importance of reading, even when it's not your favorite pastime.

Growing up, I was never a fan of reading. But as I grew older, I realized that reading opens up a whole new world of learning opportunities. I found that the work of psychologist and author Carol Dweck introduced me to the importance of developing a growth mindset, which in turn led me to the work of Dale Carnegie, which taught me how to be a better leader. These are a couple of authors that helped me appreciate reading and worth exploring for anyone looking to develop their potential. 

Why Read If You Don't Love It?

The idea of not enjoying reading might seem counterintuitive during a month that celebrates the joy of books. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that reading can play a significant role in personal and intellectual growth, irrespective of one's personal enjoyment. Here are some reasons why:

Expanding Knowledge and Perspectives: Reading exposes you to ideas, cultures and viewpoints different from your own. This expansion of knowledge and empathy is invaluable, even if the process of reading itself might not be thrilling.

Cognitive and Mental Benefits: Studies have shown that reading can improve brain connectivity, enhance vocabulary and comprehension skills, and even reduce stress. These benefits are crucial for everyone, regardless of their enjoyment of reading.

Professional and Educational Advancement: In many professional and educational settings, reading is a non-negotiable part of advancement. Whether it's staying informed in your field or understanding new concepts, reading is often key to success.

Tips for Making Reading More Enjoyable

If you're someone who doesn't love reading, here are some strategies to make it more bearable and perhaps even enjoyable:

Find the Right Material: Not everyone loves fiction or classic literature. Explore genres and formats that interest you. This could be graphic novels, magazines, or even audiobooks.

Set Realistic Goals: Start with small, achievable reading goals. This might mean reading a page or two a day or setting aside 15 minutes before bed.

Create a Pleasant Reading Environment: Find a comfortable spot, minimize distractions, and maybe even create a small ritual like a cup of tea or soft music to make reading time more enjoyable.

Join a Reading Group: Sometimes discussing a book with others can enhance your understanding and enjoyment of it. Look for book clubs or online forums.

Remember the Why: Keep in mind the benefits and reasons why you're reading. This sense of purpose can sometimes override the lack of enjoyment in the activity itself.

If you're more “meh" than “yay" about reading, remember, it's like a treasure hunt—start with a book-turned-movie or follow in your hero's literary footsteps. Asking a friend why they love reading is like asking for a secret recipe—you might just cook up a new hobby. And who knows, one day you might find yourself so lost in a book, you'll forget it's not yet made into a Netflix series!

Michael Cabral
School Trustee - Centre Ward
St. James-Assiniboia School Division

For more information on Trustee Cabral, visit his bio.


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I Love to Read Month is an annual celebration of reading, writing and literacy. The theme for 2024 is “Our Voices are Unique," which encourages readers to recognize the importance of being their true selves and sharing their stories, as well as developing a deeper understanding of different perspectives by sharing and listening to the stories of others.




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