Unfortunately, ever since entering college, I have not been able to read as often as I would like to. Books of my choosing, that is – my required academic reading is not short in supply. However, reading has been a large part of life since childhood, and I definitely miss the comfort of curling up with a book. When last summer rolled around, I set out to read as much as I could during my free time, which I mostly stuck to. If you’ve ever been in a reading slump before, you know the difficulty of getting back into the practice of reading, even if you know you want to read. This year, I’m sharing some resolutions I came up with to keep myself in a book state of mind, even if I’m not able to devote as much time as I would like to the pastime. That way, when break comes along again, I can enjoy getting on that reading grind again and not have to feel like I’m forcing myself to turn the pages.
Read at least one book a month this semester
I went back and forth on making this goal a time-focused or page-focused one. Knowing myself, I’m not that good at keeping up with interval goals, as efficient as they probably are. Chances are, I might be picking up a book the last few days of the month and cranking it out then. However, binge-reading is what works for me, so I set a goal I knew I could accomplish and would feel good about doing so.
To help me stick to this goal, I’m going to select books ahead of time that I know I’m excited to read. My “To Be Read” (TBR) list is long, but I know I can definitely narrow my choices down to highly anticipated reads, whether they are sequels to previous favorites, a new book from an author I like or raved-about novels in the literary community. I won’t mess around with books I’m not sure I will like, but are curious about – I only have time for the cream of the crop during school months. This month, I’m planning to finish up “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, “Call Down the Hawk” by Maggie Stiefvater, “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo and “Supernova” by Marissa Meyer.
No time for novels? Just watch
Watching something seems counterintuitive to a reading goal, but sometimes I just don’t have the time or the attention span to read. By watching a film or series adaptation of a novel I’ve read, I will still be able to experience a story that I know I will enjoy without spoiling it. Screen adaptations that are done well are notable in their own right, and allow me to appreciate the story in a different way. I’m excited to watch “P.S. I Still Love You” when it comes out on Feb. 12 on Netflix. Hopefully, it’s good!
Browse the books
If I can’t get around to reading, the least I can do is look at books. I enjoy conventional shopping as much as the next person, and book browsing is just as enjoyable to me. Scouring the stacks at my local Barnes and Noble or one of my favorite places in the world, The Book Barn, is my favorite form of either aiding novels to my collection or just to my TBR list. However, being stuck at school isn’t exactly the most conducive to book browsing (besides our lovely Barnes and Noble in Storrs Center, which I should definitely stop by more often), so at the very least, I search on Goodreads for novels I may have overlooked.
Broaden my reading horizons
This semester, and year, I want to branch out from books that I normally pick up. There’s certainly nothing wrong with my usual affinity for Young Adult novels, but I know that I normally stick to them because that’s what I’m used to. I know that by exploring new genres, I can become a more well-read person overall, and I can appease my characteristic intellectual curiosity. I’m excited to see what other novels I may end up enjoying with this goal in mind!
Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.