Reading for Leisure: Yay or Nay?

Photo Credit/ Jacqueline Herbert

Jacqueline Herbert

Contributing Writer

From a time-consuming, mind-absorbing schedule that sucks away any drive for college students to enjoy themselves, the semester can be exhausting to gather the mental energy to dive into a book.

It is hard to rewire the brain into enjoying a book when it’s used to collecting facts for an assignment.

“College students need to have purpose in what they do otherwise they lose interest,” said senior Jushawn Mcsween, who has been a curious bystander of the trendy Harry Potter and Percy Jackson novels since they published.

Now with attending Zoom meetings during all of the chaos that is going on in the world, wouldn’t it be better to enjoy an alternate world to help better manage responsibilities in this one? 

It wouldn’t hurt to read for pleasure on occasion.

“Reading is one of life’s great pleasures,” English Associate Professor Jeffrey Hotz said. “I recommend that you select books carefully, choosing ones you know you will like. One website I often consult is Kirkus, which has excellent book reviews and recommendations.” 

It is easy to mistranslate self-time into time wasted once the semester goes into full swing.

Once you understand the “purpose” of reading a good book, clarifying your thoughts processes will become a lot easier.

There are studies finding benefits including improved memory, increased empathy and reduced stress from reading, according to the Rocky Mountain Collegian

If you’re wondering where to start, utilize books with short chapters so picking up where you’ve left off comes naturally when you’re on the go.

You want your leisure to work for you, not vice versa! 

For example, James Patterson utilizes short chapters you can use to your advantage to spend time wisely.

You can also download an audiobook or podcast. 

If your library has an RB Digital account, you can download audios for free within the app and listen to it for two weeks before checking it back in.

However, similarly to a regular library book, you can simply check it out again if you were not done listening.

As for podcasts, “Podcast Addict” is a good app but there is “Stitcher,” Podcast Player” and “Pocket Casts” that allow you to download podcasts for free without a deadline for listening.

Podcasts can be easier to follow compared to audiobooks, it just depends on what works for you.

Additionally, try reading in the morning. 

Most websites advise you to read in the evening, but cliffhangers are likely to breach your sleeping schedule. 

Wake up with the excitement a story can bring before the climax as you eat breakfast and start your day.

There are many ways to start even if you were never an avid reader. 

Discovering which technique best fits your approach can seem like finding a new outfit, a long and cumbersome process.

You don’t know if it fits you until you’ve tried it, but it’s a good way to enjoy it for what it is once it’s done. 

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