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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

Even as an avid reader and English major (who literally reads fiction for class), I often find myself in a reading slump during a busy semester. I convince myself I don’t have time for books outside of my required reading, but really, I just don’t have the motivation to read them. So all of the books that I love have been sitting on my shelf, unloved and collecting dust. This semester, I plan on changing that.

You might be thinking: what’s the point of reading for fun when you have mounds of homework to do? Why can’t I just wait until the semester is over? There are a few reasons why I think it’s important to make time for leisure reading even when you’re busy.

For one thing, the longer you put off reading again, the harder it is to get back into it. I can’t tell you how many times I promised myself I would read over summer and then didn’t, only to get mad at myself when a new semester started up and I had missed my opportunity.

Another reason is that reading is fuel for your brain. Burnout can hit you hard when your classes are busy, so reading books that you enjoy gives your brain some new ideas and feeds it some of the imagination that school sucks dry.

Besides, you deserve to take time away from studying and do what you enjoy. Reading for fun can give you some much-needed mental rest. Give your mind a break, and don’t lose your passions amidst your education–they’re part of who you are.

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If you need some ideas, here is my list of books that I want to read this spring:

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Book of Night by Holly Black (I’m in a Holly Black phase, if you couldn’t tell)

Even reading a chapter or two in the morning when you wake up or at night before bed can make a huge difference and connect you to that part of your soul that is easily swallowed up by the demands of life. So, take the time away from studying and read, read, read!

Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Arnold, and I'm a junior at USF studying English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in mass communication. I love painting, reading, traveling, shopping, coffee, and (of course) writing.