How to Keep Reading for Pleasure in College

If you couldn’t tell by pretty much every single article I post, I am an avid reader. However, in my first semester of college, I realized how tough it is to keep reading for fun as my workload grew and grew. For the first couple of months, I strained to even finish one book in a month; whereas before the semester started, I was averaging a book a week. 

Still, I persisted, and I found ways to keep reading for fun and enjoying my favorite authors while also balancing all of my school work. It doesn’t involve making extra hours in the day or skipping classes, only quick and easy tips to make reading more fun and easy even as the work of a new (and quite frankly more tedious semester) came rolling in. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t have to be forcing yourself to read for fun. Otherwise, it’s not really that fun and becomes a chore, and you’ve already got plenty of those. If you’re not up to reading, if your eyes and ears are tired and your brain just wants a break, then take a break. There’s no shame in that! 

Regardless, I hope these tips are as helpful for you as they were for me!

1. Read Audiobooks!

Websites like audible have been a huge help in getting me reading more for pleasure. While, throughout the semester, I usually didn’t have time to sit down and read a book, I could multitask while listening to one. I could clean my room, take some more simple notes, or even just lay down on my bed and relax after a long day’s work. 

I personally use a subscription to Audible, but there are a variety of free alternatives everywhere. If you’re reading a classical novel, Youtube usually has what you need, though sometimes Youtube also has the audios for other, more contemporary books depending on their popularity. Other websites, like Hoopla, may connect to your library system so, as long as you have a library card, you have access to your library’s audiobooks for free!

2. Read What Speaks to You

This sounds kind of cliche, but it’s true. Read what you’re in the mood to read at that moment. When I was at school, I was reading a book for fun that started out great, but I slowly lost interest. I slowly read less and less until I wasn’t reading at all… at least until I found the book I was much more inclined towards reading. I finished that one in less than a week. There’s no shame in leaving a book unfinished for the time being, especially when reading for fun is certainly not one of your top priorities. Read what interests you at the moment, and I guarantee you will speed through it!

3. Start Reading Before Bed

Before college, I usually did not read before bed. However, after the semester began, that really became the only time I had to read. I began listening to my books as I drifted off to sleep, and turned them off or shut them when I felt my brain growing tired. Pushing myself to read before bed rather than looking at my phone really helped me enjoy more content, along with some phenomenal novels that otherwise would have taken me an eternity to read. 

4. Take. Your. Time.

I, for one, tend to feel kind of guilty and downtrodden when I don’t finish a book in what I deem to be a “fast” amount of time. However, this semester forced me to take my time on books and read them at my own pace, without rushing. When I pushed myself to rush, I began feeling reluctant towards reading. I began avoiding the book in my hands. If you go through something similar, my best recommendation is to be okay taking your time. A book isn’t a marathon. You should enjoy the experience of a good story!