College is one of the busiest times of life. Learn how you make time for the books that matter.
Sometimes as college students, it can feel like the only thing we do is read, whether it be reading a textbook, a discussion post, a research article, or even a Facebook post (when procrastinating on reading the other items, of course). It can seem impossible to be able to read for fun. Unfeasible even! However, dear friends, I assure you, you can do it. In high school, I averaged a book a day, sometimes two if I was on a role. So coming to college with significantly less time to read was an adjustment. But, I did not want my passion for reading to dwindle, so I kept on reading and discovered many ways to balance pleasure reading with the academic. Here are some of my tips:
Have a Set Time to Read
This one doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, but I’ve found that when you have a set time to dig into some literature, it can motivate you to read more. Personally, I use the half hour or so before bed to read, as it is a good settling time and you are normally not doing too much homework during this time.
Choose your reading material wisely
I know, you’ve been wanting to dive into that Dickens or Dumas for a while now, but it may be better to save those for breaks. It can be tempting to act super educated and academic carrying around your Victor Hugo for some “light reading,” but on top of all your difficult school reading, it is easy to become discouraged and dissuaded in that classic book. I would recommend reading easy, lighter reads, probably something more contemporary. These are easier to get through, normally more stimulating, and can be easier to relate to present circumstances. This motivates reading and makes it easier to finish the novel.
Don’t Dismiss the Audiobook
I know, I know. Book-Purists are already scoffing at the very suggestion of a book you listen to instead of being read. “She is a fraud!” They exclaim. “She claims to be a book-lover, but betrays their true form for a pair of headphones!” Okay, hear me out. It is not my preferred way of reading, but I have recently discovered how convenient it is. I listen to one while I get ready in the morning, as I walk to and from class, and even when I cook. While I am not necessarily reading, I’m still in taking the story, and it is really enjoyable. Try it before you bash it.
Don’t Dismiss E-books
Again, those Book-Purist are continuing to scoff at my electronic uses. However, school libraries are rather limited in fiction, unless it is a classic work. So, e-books are a way I can read a lot of books without lugging a bunch from home or spending a fortune on physical copies. E-books tend to be cheaper, significantly more portable, and once you get used to it, feels almost exactly like reading a normal book. If you don’t have an e-reader, you can also read e-books on tablets, laptops, and phones.
Use Your Resources
Your school and personal libraries are not your only resources for books! If you have a membership with a library in your hometown, see if they have online resources. A lot of libraries subscribe to e-book and audiobook online libraries that you can gain access to, so check it out! Also, when you go to college, normally you bring the few books that you love best with you, and those few will be different for each person. Ask around! See if your friends have a book that they would share with you. You will be surprised what you can find.
In all these tips, remember that there is no set way. It’s is mainly seeing what works best for you, and what you desire. I wanted to keep reading while at college, so I made the conscious decision to keep it up. If you don’t really want to read, you don’t have to. But if you do, I hope these tips will help you get back into the books.
Danielle Crowley is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.