The side benefit of wearing reading glasses

Getting old has some positive effects


I’ve worn glasses since 7th grade and contacts since 10th grade. I wasn’t happy with my old optometrist — one of those big national chains. So when it came time to renew my contacts prescription, I changed to a new locally-owned optometry practice that opened near my house.

I told my new doctor about how much I was reading with graduate school and he asked if I had ever used reading glasses. I assured him that I didn’t have any issues with reading, but we might as well see if I needed them.

I now have reading glasses.

It’s a light prescription, but it makes a significant difference.

Since I’ve gotten the glasses, I’ve noticed another interesting difference: I’m reading more. At first, I thought that maybe it was because the glasses reduce my eye strain and make it easier to read comfortably. But I think it’s more than that. I recently read Atomic Habits by James Clear which is all about ways to develop positive habits. One of tips he gives you is to pay attention to the cues that lead you into certain actions. So if junk food is visible, but the fruit is hidden in the refrigerator crisper drawer, you’ll likely eat more junk food. But if you put the fruit in a bowl on the counter and hide the junk food, your eating habits will change.

For me, the glasses seem to be acting as a physical cue to focus on reading. With my glasses on, I’m less likely to switch modes and try to multitask. The end result is that once I start reading, I read longer.

Another fun side effect of getting old.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, researcher, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. Follow Bob on Instagram.