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I Switched my Weekly Screen Time for Books: Here’s How It Went

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

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I love reading books, but sometimes I find myself in the habit of watching Booktube videos instead of actually reading. Also, the year is almost over and I haven’t completed my Goodreads goal for this month, which is 30 books this year. Considering that I’m halfway there, I’m not doing too bad.  My embarrassing daily average is 7 hours and 5 minutes.  If I had spent that much time during the day reading I would have probably finished my TBR list. So, this is why I decided to exchange my screen time for books. Now, follow me on this one-week journey and see if I actually succeeded in learning something from this or if I just made a fool of myself in trying. 

Day 1- Thursday

Certified failed in my books. I read during the morning before going to university and it felt refreshing. After I arrived, I went to the library and read a bit more. However, my class after lunch got canceled so I decided to leave early. I got back and didn’t read anymore because I’m pretty anxious about an event that I’ll be attending tomorrow. Those were my last words because I spent around 3 hours on Hulu watching RuPaul’s drag race.

Reading time: 5h and 31m. 

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Day 2- Friday

I attended an event at CNE, and while waiting for it to start I read a couple of pages and then got back home. At home, I started reading another book, in this case, an introduction to politics. After starting this challenge, I’ve felt more motivated to tackle the 30-plus books I have on my bookshelf that I still haven’t read yet. 

Reading time: 2h and 43m.

Day 3- Saturday

I woke up at 7 am because my mental clock doesn’t shut down, not even during the weekend. I fell into temptation during the morning because I’m used to watching videos while I eat. After that, I did some reading and then finished some work. 

Reading time: 8h and 16m

Day 4- Sunday

It took some time for me to realize the level of technology addiction I have, but now I can clearly see it. I find it difficult to not consume media while I’m eating and trying to sleep. However, I did read a bit.

Reading time: 7h and 12 m

Day 5- Monday

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I started the day on a good note. I read for about two hours during the morning. One was while having breakfast, which I found to be a bit hard to concentrate on. I read for another hour as  I waited for my class to start. 

Reading time: 6h and 40m

Day 6- Tuesday

No reading was done. I spent my free time with my friend. When I got back home, I did some homework. I noticed that my assignment deadlines can really affect my productivity levels. Because I spend so much  time worrying about them, I end up reading for fun instead. I then feel guilty. Toxic productivity is what I call this feeling. Key takeaway: there has to be a balance between work and relaxation. 

Reading time: 6h and 15m 

Day 7- Wednesday 

Due to hurricane Fiona, our midterms were postponed. I wouldn’t say I set myself up for failure, but it kinda feels like I did. If I read five pages today, that would be a miracle. 

Reading time: 5h and 37m

Final thoughts: I found out that when I set my mind to not using my phone, I’m generally more productive with my schoolwork. I really liked this aspect of doing the challenge even though I couldn’t finish the books I’d already started, a history book about the general history of Puerto Rico and a brief introduction to politics. However, the fact that I’m in midterms throws me into a spiral of anxiety. While I feel overwhelmed, I like to do things that don’t require too much thinking like watching YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix. I felt ashamed of my screen time, but I otherwise can’t lie to myself in saying I succeeded. The learning experience of doing the challenge will be the aspect I’m the proudest of. I can acknowledge that I have an addiction, and I’m starting to figure out what kind of situation triggers itー for example, all the academic tension. Moreover, I’ll implement this challenge in my daily life.

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Alejandra, is a bookworm in the making. She’s currently majoring in modern languages at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. Among her friends, she’s the mother of the group, but she can’t make a decision on her own for the life of her.