So you want to read for fun, but classes are beginning and the homework is pilling and essays are overdue, and you don’t have any motivation to pick up a book?
The important first step here is to know yourself and your habits. Are you the kind of person who gets called out in class for reading a book while everyone else is working on the math work you finished ten minutes ago? Are you the kind of person who can read eighteen books during the summer but only three the whole school year? Whichever kind of reader you are, remember that reading is not a competition and the pressure doesn’t have to exist. But here are five ways you can approach reading during the school year:
1. Don’t Do It
Perhaps the most counter-intuitive advice you might expect to receive if you’re struggling to keep on top of reading for fun, but sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder. If reading is something you do because you enjoy it, then taking it out of the equation when it stresses you out might give you the break you deserve. When you’ve just finished midterms and you find that the sequel to this epic book you read last year is out now, you’ll be all the more excited because it’s been months since you read a book besides that English class thing that makes no sense.
2. A Page a Day Keeps the TBR Away
Required reading, advanced reader copies, new releases — whatever the reason, maybe you’re determined to keep on reading. In this case, you’re going to have to carry a little extra weight. Whether your going to school, to the gym, or to the Starbucks down the street, bring a book with you everywhere. If you don’t want to lug a book around when you’re out and about and you read e-books, then a e-reader or the e-reading apps on smartphone can work wonders. The point is to steal a bit of time in your day to read a page or two here and there. You’ll be surprised how fast those pages can build up in the long run.
3. Please Don’t Bother Me Can’t You See I’m Planning
If you’re in school, chances are you own a planner. Maybe it’s the dust collector at the bottom of your backpack, or the pristine expensive one you bought with stickers. If you’re system-orientated or goal-orientated, planning in fifteen minutes of reading time into your day might give you the motivation you need to keep reading. Being able to check off that box everyday can mix a sense of obligation and satisfaction to encourage reading everyday.
4. Out With the New, In With the Old
When you have no idea what you want to read, the idea of picking a book can seem incredibly daunting. What if this book propels me into a reading slump? What if this book makes my reading slump worse?
Getting out of our comfort zones is an important thing to experiment with, but maybe now is not the time to pick up the mystery thriller you have stored away in the bottom of your shelves because the premise freaks you out. Maybe it’s best to work with what you know best and ask yourself what kind of books you engage with most. Is it new adult or young adult contemporary? Is it dystopian or sci-fi? Maybe it is that mystery thriller you have tucked away because you’ve read it too many times, not because thrillers make you want to want to hide. Whatever it is, choose the type of book you know you can read through quickly. Let that be your treat on the weekend. For me, the kind of book I fly through is usually always new adult or manga. Sometimes reading an old favorite can also be your knight in shining armor. I always recommend The Deal by Elle Kennedy (I love that book lots).
5. Hello I Have a Reading Problem
Does it just so happens that you’ve never struggling with making time or wanting to read? In that case, please consider sending me a detailed letter on how you do it because you are my serious inspiration. But if you happen to prioritize reading over schoolwork and that’s becoming a problem, you might want to turn to a rewards routine. It’s time to write your very own Lara Jean contract for straight As.
My Reading Contract
I hereby solemnly declare that I, [insert your cool name], will adhere and respect the rules of this contract as laid out in its explicit terms. I will not fall prey to the temptations of reading my new shiny pre-order featuring my imaginary boyfriend as one of the main characters until I have completed my designated homework for the day. When I am finished with said homework, I will then proceed to claim my reward for one hour of uninterrupted reading time.
Blah blah blah.
(P.S.) Any person not looking to tread on dangerous territory must refrain from attempting contact with me during my reading time.
[your awesome name]