Sometimes someone points me to an article on the web, but I could not read it as I find it is too long to read.

I usually tell it is too long so I can't read it, but then the person seems to start to think I'm too rude that I refuse to read what they "kindly" recommend. But I don't have any intention to ignore the recommendation and I just can't read it as I immediately lose my concentration during reading, and when I tried it again, I already forgot about the content I had read so I started to read it again from the top of the article, then lose my concentration again, and the same repeats endlessly.

These people don't understand that some people are rather incompetent at reading than others, which is particularly common among ADHD and RD.

Also, it depends on each article and I could read some articles without any problem. It is not just about the length of the article but also the easiness to read, the way the author writes, and the interest I have in the field, etc...

And these people also seem to think it is just about the required time, so once I post something on social media, then the person immediately asks me something like:

X: Have you read it?

I: Not yet.

X: Why? If you have the time to use Twitter you can read it!

But again, even though I can post on the social media I could not read the long article...

In this case how can I tell the person I could not read the long article?

  • 1
    So, just to be clear. Do you have an official diagnosis of ADHD/RD? Do those people know you have that? Do you want a way of explaining you could not read the long article, due to a medical problem? Or would you rather not mention that?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Dec 3, 2017 at 12:59
  • @Tinkeringbell No, I don't have an official diagnosis as it is practically infeasible but I'm sure I am. I also disguised I am but they don't understand it and think it is just a lack of self-control. I can't read the long article from my childfood, though.
    – Blaszard
    Dec 3, 2017 at 13:07
  • @peufeu If you have an answer, please post it below. Thanks. Dec 3, 2017 at 19:14
  • 1
    What I don't understand is who is this person to obligate you to read something? If they get offended, GOOD for them. Not your problem.
    – Sidar
    Dec 5, 2017 at 16:07
  • @Sidar The most common case is people in social media.
    – Blaszard
    Dec 6, 2017 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


I have some vision difficulties and sometimes find myself in a similar position -- somebody recommends a magazine or journal article where the print is just too small, or a web site where the layout doesn't work with font zoom, or a site where I'd have to make more browser modifications (like CSS overrides) than the post is worth. In the cases where I want to read the content but I encounter these barriers, I say something like:

That sounded interesting and I started to read it, but I found it really difficult because of my vision problems, so I'm afraid I had to stop. Can you recommend something else that I might be able to handle better?

Key points:

  • It's not you, it's me. I'm not rejecting your offer.
  • I express disappointment in not being able to follow through.
  • I ask for an alternative.

In the case where I'm not all that interested to begin with, and so am less willing to put in extra effort, I'll instead say something like:

I started, but I found it really difficult to read because of my vision problems. Could you give me the high-level summary?

Key points:

  • It's still not you (even though maybe it is, a little).
  • I omit the "disappointment" language to avoid giving the impression that I'd like to take a deeper dive into this some other way.
  • I ask for a summary instead of an alternative. The person had some reason for recommending the article and (it sounds like) being somewhat insistent about it, so he's already invested and I'm not.

From the example in your question, it sounds like your friend is being a bit of a pest (with opinions about how you should prioritize your time). If you aren't all that interested to begin with and you want to shut that down, you might need to say something like this:

I guess I'm just not as interested in it as you are. Is there something in particular that you wanted me to learn from it?

This has the potential to feel like a bit of a brush-off, so decide how important that concern is for you. If it's a dear grandparent or your SO you might not want to do that; if it's a random coworker who's currently evangelizing that topic to everybody he meets, maybe you do.


To start: I will always imply at the outset that I intend to read it.

If it comes up again I do the same as you and simply say "not yet".

If it comes up again after that I generally do one of the following depending on how close I am to this person and the general overall context.

1.) If I'm confident I'm not going to be quizzed on it I'll just tell them I've read it and I enjoyed it. This is a high-risk, high reward situation, because if you wind up having to comment intelligently on it you're screwed. I only employ this one with people I'm extremely close to.

2.) I started it but couldn't get into it. I'm sure it's great I just have extremely peculiar tastes. I really appreciate the recommendation though, it was thoughtful of you. By the way, ....steer conversation immediately away to something else.

3.) I have to take medication to focus, otherwise I get stir-crazy and can't sit still. I'm not able to take it right now for _________(invent a reason).

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