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Monday Book Club: How To Balance Studies and Reading

We’ve all been there: wanting to read but feeling as though there is no time aside university life aka studying. At times, it can feel overwhelmingly devastating when your conscience is beating you up for even looking at a book instead of your laptop or school work. Therefore, we’re here to save the day with a few important tips and reminders.

1. Read to enjoy and enjoy what you read

First things first: remember that you read because you want to, not because you must. Embrace the dear hobby. If it feels like a burden, give yourself a break. Choose something easier than canonical lit (which definitely needs disrupting but we won’t discuss the subject further this time). When I personally experience a block, I tend to pick mystery and detective fiction from the shelf, make some hot chocolate to go with it, get a blanket and not think about Anna Karenina even for a nanosecond.

2. Audiobooks

I bet we all know what a struggle reading can be when your eyes are completely incapable of helping you process after having stared at a laptop screen or study books all day. That’s right, audiobooks! If this is the part where you think an audiobook doesn’t compare to a physical book even in the slightest, I feel you. However, hearing differs from listening, which is an important skill and should be cherished. If you’re up for a story, why not at least give an audiobook a try?

3. Meet you in safe haven

Feeling too stressed to start something new? Do you have a book or a whole series you want to go back to? That’s what I tend to call a reader’s safe haven. Whenever you’re feeling stressed out or anxious, a reader’s safe haven is a place of comfort: you know what to expect but enjoy it anyway. Reading is a great form of meditation, plus a phenomenal way to activate your brain. I also recommend bookshops. There’s no place like home – or a bookstore.

Mercer Bookstore entrance
Original photo by Priyal Maheshwari

4. No time and no books?

It’s all about prioritising: if you don’t have time, arrange it. You don’t have to read for two hours every night (at least that’s what I keep telling myself and do so anyway). You can carry a piece to read on public transport. In the evening, replace your phone with literature. Five minutes will do. If you don’t know what to read, you’ll always have the internet full of recommendations. On Instagram, in particular, you can find bookstagrammers hyping latest arrivals at bookstores (and of course, not so latest). You can find my booksta account @kaytheobscure on Instagram. Hope to catch up with you there, pop in to say hi!

Kukka Raejärvi

Helsinki '23

English major and an aspiring activist who mostly chills with her dogs or reads books.
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