Recently, Paige Ballard wrote a great article on reading for fun, in which she talks about how she’s finally reading a book for fun, a luxury that was set aside during college when homework and papers started rolling around. I have heard this sentiment time again, including a time I recommended a book to my friend and she responded with, “And when will I have time to do that?!” I, myself, someone who likes to pride themselves on being an avid reader, struggle with this too. I always have a book I am reading for fun, but when the school year speeds up I find that it takes me months to finish a book that should only take days. But, I have found ways to help keep myself reading and enjoying books, because at the end of the day it is so enjoyable. So here are some suggestions!
1. Read One Chapter a Day
Telling yourself to read a chapter a night is not a big commitment. Depending on your major, you probably have learned how to read hundreds of pages in just one night, so one chapter, usually roughly 20 pages, is nothing. Reading a chapter can be done in little spurts throughout the day, half of the chapter while waiting to start class, the other half while waiting for friends to come meet you at Peirce. Or you can read it in one go right before bed! (This is my preferred way!) Reading a chapter is not a huge time commitment and definitely doable.
2. Set Page Goals
If reading one chapter a day seems like too much for you, set a page goal instead. Maybe on a busier day set a low number and on a day where you have more free time set a higher goal. Although there may be some times when you are setting low numbers for many days in a row, reading a little is better than not reading at all! Plus, you end up feeling really accomplished when you have reached or surpassed your goal!
3. Giving a time goal
If you are not someone who really cares about the quantity of pages read and cares more about quality, this is a good tactic. Instead of telling yourself that you need to have read a certain amount of pages in one day, just set aside a certain amount of time to read. The amount of time does not need to be high, it can be only 10 or 15 minutes!
4. Using your weekends to read
If reading during the week really seems impossible to you, try to give yourself an hour on Saturday and Sunday devoted to reading. My favorite thing to do after waking up on a Saturday morning is to not check my phone, but just read instead. It is a really nice feeling to feel disconnected to the rest of the world and to be able to tell yourself that the rest of your commitments can wait a second.
5. Turn Netflix and Chill into Reading and Chill
You can’t tell yourself that you have no time to read when you binged a whole show in a week and watched a movie. Take the time that you normally would watch a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy in one sitting and read instead. Or, even better, do both! I love watching an episode of TV, taking a break, reading a chapter, and then continue watching TV. We have free time to read, it just ends up seeming so much easier to watch mindless reality television at the end of the day instead of picking up a book, especially when it feels like all you do for classes is read. But, in the end the book is so rewarding and just as fun as finding out who wins the Bachelorette!
Hope these tips helped! Go forth and read!