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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As the spring semester comes to a close, I know I’m not alone when I say that my schedule has become a lot busier. In general, being in college makes it difficult to find time to do anything for enjoyment, much less spend our precious limited free time with our heads in more books. For those of you who have always wanted to boast an impressive Goodreads account or finally get to the book you’ve been wanting to read, here are some tips for how to spend more time reading as a college student.

Go digital

I’m a big advocate of reading physical books. According to Pew Research, most readers read physical books, but e-books are on the rise for good reason, with 30% of adults reporting that they read e-books. The feel of a physical book is truly unparalleled, and besides, how will people know you’re well-read and intelligent if they can’t see the cover of what you’re reading?

But it’s also true that we’re all addicted to our phones. So, of course, a great way to get some extra reading in is by swapping the time you spend scrolling on TikTok for scrolling through some digital pages. It’s surprising you how much you can end up reading this way. One of the things I try to do when I wake up and reach for my phone is to go right to my library app and read a few pages. The same goes for when I’m waiting for class to start. 

Instead of spending those five to 10 minutes scrolling on my phone, I’ll try to read a few pages of my e-book. It makes me feel more productive, but those pages add up, and when you’re short on time, every little bit counts. 

Bring a book with you in public

If you can’t bring yourself to part with physical books, try bringing that book with you throughout your day. I know that if I’m reading a book, it often stays at home on my nightstand or desk, which means I’ve already curtailed the time I could be reading throughout the day. Reading only when you get home may work for some, but reading is a great way to kill time for those who have time between classes or a few minutes to spare on their commute to class.

If you look at your screen as much as I do, you’ll reach a point where you want to look at anything but blue light. That’s when a book comes in handy. Not only will you look super cool and intelligent, but you’ll also be giving your eyes a well-deserved break. 

find a reading buddy

Social accountability is an age-old trick for a reason. Having someone else to check in with about a book you’re reading is an excellent way to hold yourself accountable. It might feel like added homework but eventually, the reading will become a habit. You’ll probably get so sucked into the book that you just have to keep reading it so you can talk about it with your friend!

Having someone to share the experience with can help you get through the book quickly. Many reading apps also have the buddy read or read-along feature. Apps like Storygraph have features, like the ability to add comments, that make the shared reading experience even more enjoyable!

Discover what interests you

Many people think they don’t want to read because reading is boring, but I genuinely believe that there’s a book out there for everyone. There are so many different kinds of stories; you’re bound to find one that sparks your interest.

Some people think reading has to be inherently difficult. However, reading should be something you enjoy. If you’re reading something you don’t like, put it down and find something you do. I guarantee you that there’s at least one book you’ll love. A good starting point is figuring out what kind of TV shows or movies you like to watch and trying to find books similar to the stories you love. Maybe you can ask a friend who reads a lot what they would recommend for you!

There’s also always social media, which can be a helpful tool in discovering the multitude of choices. Additionally, novels aren’t the only form of reading you can do. You can find articles published by major magazines or literary magazines that publish all kinds of short-form creative stories. The point is, there’s definitely something out there that will interest you! 

Remind yourself that at least you’re reading

If you have no extra time to contribute to reading books for fun in college, it’s okay. You’re likely reading for class. Whether it’s an economics textbook or a short story for your English class, the fact that you’re reading at all is still an accomplishment!

In my personal experience, when I ask myself why I’m not reading more books when I’m busy, I realize that I’m still reading a lot of creative fiction for my classes. It’s about more than just the quantity of books you read, but rather the quality of what you read and what you get out of things.

Academics come first, so if reading an assigned chapter of your textbook is all the energy you can give, that’s okay too! And besides, with summer coming up, hopefully, you’ll have more free time and be able to spend it reading as much (or as little) as you want!

I hope these tips were helpful for you. Happy reading!

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Cherith King (she/her) is a staff writer for Her Campus FSU and a junior at FSU pursuing a dual degree in Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. Beyond Her Campus, Cherith is currently working as an intern at the Southeast Review, and the assistant fiction editor for The Kudzu Review. She is also a Closing Prosecutor for FSU’s undergraduate Mock Trial Team. Cherith’s holy trinity are books, movies, and music. If you bring any of those subjects up, she promises to talk about them endlessly.