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Reading more books is a new year’s resolution that grows in popularity every year. Some people suggest reading one book per week in the New Year or setting a goal to read a number of books. This is a great way to have a definite goal in mind – but for me, it’s too much pressure. As a full-time student in college, my schedule is unpredictable, and there are times when I’ll be busier than others. I’m also graduating in a few months and don’t know what my life will look like post graduation. Instead, I came up with the goal to read more this year, incorporating reading into my schedule whenever I find time.

The motivation to read more sparked over break when I had a little panic about my 20s and life after college. I searched online for the best books to read for navigating this phase in my life. I ended up finding “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay, “The Twentysomething Guide to Getting it Together” by Mary Traina and “How to Skimm your life” written by theSkimm staff. I got these three books from my local library when I went home for break and managed to finish them all over break as well. Afterward, I felt much more at ease about the next phase of my life. I also loved the feeling of going to the library, amazed at how much I missed it. After that, I made a point to make use of the Alachua County Library.

I renewed my Alachua County Library card. I got the card during the fall of my freshman year on campus. I eagerly signed up since I loved reading growing up. But life in college was busier than expected, and reading for pleasure was no longer a part of my life, except for holiday breaks from school. The card expired after two years but still sat in my wallet. I saw an online post about Library Card Registration Day, on Jan. 11, created by poet and rapper, Noname. With this, I knew I needed to make my way to the closest library.

When I first walked in, I was stunned. So many Alachua County residents and even a few students were in the library reading or doing schoolwork. I felt a little sad that I only came here just as I’m about to graduate in a few months. Why didn’t I go sooner?

During my first Alachua County Library visit, I picked up two books, “Everything We Ever Wanted” by Sara Shepard, the author of the “Pretty Little Liars” books, and a Food Network Magazine cookbook to try out new recipes. Right now, I’m reading “Little Women” by Ida B. Wells and “Everything We Ever Wanted.” The stories are completely different from each other so I can keep track of them.

I read when I need a break from schoolwork and on weekend afternoons to relax. I read “Little Women” for several months intermittently. But when I found out the newest movie based on the book was coming out, I had more motivation to finish it. I’m still working my way through the book, but once I finish it, I’ll plan on seeing the movie. I’m also using recipes from the Food Network cookbook whenever I can.

Also, the library gives me some slight constraints in the time I have to finish books. Due dates hold me accountable, without having to set a goal for myself. I think it’ll help me read more books too.

I’m excited to prioritize reading to allow myself to escape reality or learn more. I think it’s a habit I can gradually incorporate into a regular routine with time. If you’re trying to read more this year, I’m rooting for you. Happy reading!

Niharika graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. She wrote for Her Campus UFL during her time at UF. She also wrote for Her Campus Leeds when she spent her junior year abroad at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England. She tried drinking tea when in England but is still a coffee person at heart. As a Colorado native, Niharika loves hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. In her spare time, she likes to explore her creativity through photography and drawing. 
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