The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Do you love reading and wish you had more time for it? Are you looking to get back into reading after swearing to never read again after you were forced to read Shakespeare in middle school? Do you want to pick up a new, easy hobby? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, this article may be for you. Here are 5 easy ways to incorporate reading into your daily routine as a college student.
- Start at the library
The library is a wonderful, magical place filled with books on any subject you could imagine. Romance? Yep! Fantasy? Always. Nonfiction? You bet! There are all kinds of books that you can find at the library, and the best part is that they are all free. All you have to do is set up a library card, which takes no time at all — some libraries even allow you to do this online!
If you haven’t picked up a book in a while, you can go to your local library and check out as many books as you want until you find the right one for you, and at no cost! That way, if you end up not liking a book, you aren’t out any money. Not to mention, your local librarians are a super helpful resource when scouring the shelves for that perfect story!
- use audio or e-books
Books come in multiple formats these days, not just paper! Audiobooks and e-books are great ways to read on the go without toting a physical book with you. If you spend a lot of time walking around campus to get to class, or if you commute from off campus, audiobooks are the way to go. Pop in your earbuds on campus or plug in your aux cord in the car to listen to your book on your commute.
E-books are another good option if you want to read books without compromising precious backpack space. You can download the “Kindle” and “Libby” apps to your phone to check out e-books and audiobooks from the library, and they get instantly delivered right to your phone! You’ll always have a book at your fingertips.
- join a book club
Having a community of people with similar interests is always a great way to make new friends and discover new hobbies. Joining a book club is an awesome way to get into reading because it allows you to only commit to one book per month and you have other people who also enjoy reading to discuss that book with.
Book clubs are also relatively easy to find in most areas. See if your college campus offers a book club, or try a local library. Bookstores often have different clubs you can join as well, so don’t forget about those!
Don’t know where to look for a book club? Barnes & Noble does virtual club meetings once a month! Click here to check out their latest monthly pick.
- don’t finish books you aren’t enjoying
Many people say they don’t enjoy reading because they didn’t enjoy the classic novels they were forced to read in school, and that is totally valid. Sometimes the classics are harder to read! If you find yourself reading a book and you just aren’t that into it, there is no shame in putting it away and finding something else to read.
There is a book out there for everybody, and you just have to keep trying until you find what you like (again, this is where the library comes in handy! Free books!). You would be surprised at how quickly you can finish a book when you’re actually enjoying it. Here’s a secret: once you find the kind of books you like, you’re more likely to make reading a habit — and it’s a great habit to have.
One place I like to go for quick book recommendations is @uppercaseya on Instagram. Lisa, the page owner, does an amazing job suggesting books based on tropes, seasons, “if you like X then try Y,” and overall makes finding your next read super easy. Check out one of her recent posts below:
- set a realistic goal
Social media has seriously influenced the way people consume books lately (TikTok, I’m looking at you). While social media is one of the best search tools for book recommendations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when you see everybody posting about the fifteen books they read that month, or see someone breeze through a thousand-page-long epic fantasy novel like it’s nothing.
When you’re starting to make reading a habit, try to be realistic about what you want to accomplish. Everybody is busy when they’re in college and sometimes you simply don’t have the time to read ten books a month, and that is okay. Start with one book a month and see where that gets you. Reading is not a race, it’s a hobby, so have fun with it!
Reading is becoming cool again (not that it ever wasn’t cool, in my opinion), and now is the best time to dive in headfirst with a good book. There are so many stories to choose from, and there is something for everybody. If you take your time and really search for the books you enjoy, reading will become second nature in no time. Go forth, fellow students, and take on the world one page at a time!