Many people take being able to read for granted in waking life. In a dream, however, reading can be a frustrating or unusual experience.
Reading Dream Summary
Reading Dream Symbolism
Like reading in waking life, reading in a dream can show that you are interested in gathering information and that you value the role of intellect and logic in solving your problems. The areas of the brain involved in language are usually not very active during sleep, though, so the experience of reading in a dream might be a bit different from reading in waking life.
Common Reading Dreams
- Dream of reading a book
- Dream of reading a map or street names
- Dream of reading content unique to your profession or hobby
- Dream of reading in a language you don’t know
Reading Dream Symbolism
Dreaming of reading, especially books, could symbolize that you value the intellectual side of life. You might feel superior to others because of your intellectual abilities.
Alternately, a reading dream could symbolize that you feel insecure about others who seem to be smarter than you are. You might also feel conflicted about the relationship between “book smart” and “street smart” – does what you have read about how things should work match up with what you see playing out in the world around you?
A dream of reading could symbolize that you are dealing with a problem in your life where the answer seems to involve gathering more information. Keep an open mind, even if it involves looking outside your usual community, and you will probably find what you need.
What you read in your dreams might not just be books. It could be, for example, street signs that you use to navigate. This type of reading in your dreams may symbolize that you want the world to be an orderly place that makes sense. You might also take pride in your ability to use logical thinking to navigate life.
Common Reading Dreams
Dream of reading a book
As noted in book dream symbolism, if it is common for you to read books in your waking life, your dream of reading a book might simply reflect that habit of yours, especially if the genre and content of the book in your dream were consistent with your usual routine.
If it is unusual for you to read books in waking life, however, your dream may be encouraging you to slow down and relax. You might also need to get a bigger perspective on some drama that has gotten you stressed out.
If the book you read in your dream was very different in content from anything you would normally read in waking life, this could symbolize that you need to get out of whatever intellectual rut you are in and refresh yourself by learning something new. Unfortunately, the books you read in your dreams may not exist in waking life, but try to write down as much as you can remember in a dream journal.
Dream of reading a map or street names
Sometimes your dreams may take you along streets that are familiar to you. Other times, you might be somewhere new, or a known neighborhood could appear with some twists, and you can find yourself straining to read street signs or a map in your dream to find out where you are.
If you are able to catch the name of an unfamiliar street in your dream, there may be something symbolic about it. As stated in house dream symbolism, sometimes a symbolic street name means what it sounds like it means. If the name doesn’t ring any bells to you on its own, Googling it could give you some ideas.
Reading a street name involving a number can reference the symbolism of that number, as noted in number dream symbolism. It may also bring up personal associations you have with that number.
For example, I once dreamed of reading street signs for “19th Circle” in a particular city. My analysis of that dream then picked up that I had spent my 19th birthday in that city long ago, even though there is not an actual “19th Circle” on that city’s map.
Dream of reading content unique to your profession or hobby
If you play a musical instrument professionally or as a hobby, for example, you might dream of reading musical notation just as a reflection of what you spend your time on in your waking life. The same would go for other personal or professional interests that use unique forms of notation, like astrology or some of the sciences.
If you can remember what you read, trying it out at work might be worthwhile. Famous Scientists reports that chemist Dmitri Mendeleev came up with the layout of the periodic table of elements in a dream. Another chemist, August Kekulé, discovered the shape of the benzene molecule in a dream.
Dream of reading in a language you don’t know
Inverse reports that many people don’t read in their dreams because the areas of the brain that process language are not very active during sleep. Reading and speaking in dreams can therefore be experienced more like telepathy.
In your dream, you might therefore be able to read in a language you don’t know, if it’s more like telepathy anyway. When you interpret that, think about whether the most important part was the information itself or the language that the information came in. If the language was the most important part, you might do a quick Google search about that language or the associated culture to see what stands out to you.
If you were reading a really interesting book in your dream, it may be painfully frustrating that you can’t access the book in waking life and finish reading it. Though you might not get what you want in that regard, a reading dream can show that you have the tools to get the information you need.