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Becoming an English Major Ruined My Love of Reading

Hi, I’m Maddy and I’m an English and Medieval Studies major, which basically means I read and write non-stop. For each English class, let’s say on average you are assigned 6 books to read. That doesn’t sound too bad, but multiply that by 5 classes and that’s a lot of time spent reading, especially if the professor assigns you supplementary reading on top of the books. Of course, not all classes involve reading only novels, but you get the gist. Add in my Medieval Studies readings of approximately 500-year-old documents, and that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to read for fun.
I became an English major because I love to read. And I mean love. I’m the type of person that never goes anywhere without a book in their purse, just in case I can catch a moment to read. I’m that person that reads at the dinner table, while walking, and basically while doing any other human task. I have literally walked into walls whilst reading. It’s a bit of a problem.

Over the past three years of my degree though, this has changed a lot. As it turns out, I hate being forced to read.

“Forced” may not be the right word here, considering that I’m voluntarily in the English program, but you know what I mean. Most books that a professor picks to study are not my style. I love certain genres and styles of writing, but romances and sci-fi books hardly ever see the inside of a classroom.

Since I spend so much time reading books for class, I don’t have much extra time to read what I’m actually interested in. I noticed that even when I did have time off to read, I would get this weird aversion to picking up a book. That’s when I realized that my major was affecting my love of reading. I’ve spent so much time complaining and procrastinating my school readings that it has just become habit to feel that way towards all books in general.

So, this past reading week I decided to take some me time. I was fortunately given the opportunity to go to a beach for the week, so I stocked up my iBooks with some old faves and got in lots of reading time while tanning. I read about 7 books over my 10 day break and while I definitely got behind in my readings for class, I enjoyed every second of my reading week. I feel guilty for not using the time to get ahead (or catch up) on school content, but I feel like I rediscovered my reason for choosing this program in the first place: to hopefully one day have a career where I can read and work with the type of content I love.

While I’m still not stoked about spending four years reading content I don’t particularly enjoy, I do understand the value and reasons why I’m doing this, so don’t get it twisted! I’m just a little jaded about not having time to read my sappy romance novels.

Madeleine Prentice

Wilfrid Laurier '19

Madeleine is a fourth-year double English and Medieval and Medievalism Studies major at Wilfrid Laurier. She spends the majority of her time rambling about makeup, memes, and medievalism. On an average night, you can find her snuggled up with her cats watching Netflix and browsing the latest trends on social media. 
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