Struggling with ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Am I brain-dead?

I have been trying to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” for quite a while, but my progress is painfully slow.

Is this normal?

The copy I have has 1,069 pages, and each page is dense with small type. I think this part of the problem. The text is really small.

However, it is also a slow read. It isn’t a face-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Is that how other people see it?

I wanted to read the book because I know it is famous, and the idea that it is a philosophical manifesto intrigues me.

But, I am struggling. I like the story so far, but really getting into it is taking a lot longer than I expected.

So, do any of you out there have any advice? Is it a good enough book to push through?

Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.

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About toddvogts 834 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at

1 Comment

  1. Brother, don’t beat yourself up. I have tried to read it several times for the same reasons you are. And I struggled with it as well. To alleviate the self induced guilt and shame of NOT reading this book I would search for people who think its an awful slow paced peace of crap only to find that it really is just me. Finally I found an online comic version of it and read that. And from what I remember, I hated it. I have worked through much of my shame now and come to grips with the fact that I am a simple man with simple tastes. Give me a cold Pabstt Blue Ribbon, a Mad Magazine and Smokey and the Bandit. Ayn Rand and John Galt can both go fuck themselves.

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