I have never been one to say I hate reading. Even among all the Great Gatsby assignments about the symbolic green light and in depth analysis about Of Mice and Men, I was never turned off to the act of reading itself. Getting lost in a good book has always excited me. However, when I got to college I started to realize that reading entailed a lot more than just novels. I am forced to read textbooks, lectures, articles, and lately 19th and 20th century stories about Orientalism in French. As one may assume, this is a lot less exciting. My eyes get tired from constantly skimming over information I couldn’t care less about and stopping every few sentences to take notes to the point where I am utterly sick of reading altogether. When it comes time to relax I find that all I want to do is stare mindlessly at a screen and let someone else put in the effort to tell me a story. After our discussion in class I have come up with a few ways to make reading more enjoyable in the midst of my studies.
- Read in bed. Sitting at a desk, the couch, or any other place I am likely to do work is a complete turn off. My bed is where I relax so reading there instead of other places makes it a more relaxing activity rather than a task to get done as quickly as possible.
- Read slowly. I have become a fast reader over time and I think this is mainly because I have to be. Reading slow makes it less like an assignment and more like something I actually want to be doing.
- Put my phone away. Often times when I’m doing work I use my phone as a reward. One finished chapter or article=a few minutes on my phone. By taking my phone out of the equation I am destressing by removing myself from the world of social media as well as taking away a stressful distraction. No one can remind me that I forgot to do my online reading quiz if I don’t get their texts!
- If I don’t like a book, stop reading. I tend to start books because someone recommended it, but often times those “someones” are my friends who are annoyingly obsessed with romance novels. Over the summer I read Girl on the Train because of how much everyone raved about it only to find it slow, depressing, and predictable. Unfortunately, I had to finish because I had started. Being able to stop a book I don’t like is difficult, but I think it will help me read more of what I do like by not wasting my time.