Read now, feel rewarded later.

by: Zac Soper, Columnist

 

Summer reading…now what?

Have you ever heard a student say they wished they “had more time to read” during the semester? The truth is, you do have the time. You just have to use it. The easiest way to make this happen is to start now and integrate reading into your schedule as you start the semester so that it becomes habit. 

Here are a few tricks that have worked for me:

  1. Get to class early. I usually arrive to class 5-10 minutes before the start time. Instead of scrolling through my phone waiting for class to start, I crack open my book and get a few extra pages in. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot but the extra 10 pages before every class really adds up by the end of the week. This same tip applies to gaps between classes. If you’ve got 15 minutes or so, it is more efficient to read a few more chapters of your book than to mess around on your phone.  
  2. Read at the gym. Audiobooks are great for working out. You’re mindlessly staring at a wall for long periods of time anyway, so you might as well have something to occupy your time. Another plus is the distraction, especially during cardio. It’s harder to focus on how much your legs hurt or how out of breath you are if you’re focused on a story.  
  3. Read before bed. Rather than scrolling through social media for another hour or so before actually going to bed, pick up a book instead. Doing this every night will get you into the habit of reading daily, as well as get you out of the habit of spending all hours of the night on your phone. 
  4. Start a reading list. Having a list written out of books you want to read can get you more excited to get to the next one, and therefore motivated to finish your current read. You can start this list on apps like Goodreads, or you can simply type it into the notes on your phone. 
  5. Set reading goals. If you’re just getting back into reading for pleasure set a goal of maybe a book a month, or more, or less, depending on how much you want to read, or how much you realistically can. You can also set a semester goal of some number of books by the end of term. Setting these goals will help you hold yourself accountable to keeping up on your reading. 
  6. Grab a friend. If you and a friend or two can find a book you all want to read, pick it up at the same time and set a timeline for when you want to have it finished. Buddy reading will hold you accountable to finishing whichever book you chose, and you’ll have a conversation starter later. 

With all these tips in mind, there comes one more question: what should you read? Some of my favorites from this summer have been Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson and Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. If you’re ever looking for something to read, check out The Towerlight every week for this column as I leave reviews. 

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