Discussion: Finding Time to Read as a College Student


If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen a lot of posts about finding time to read. If you’re like me, you also probably have some trouble finding time to read sometimes. And, again, if you’re like me, you’ve probably never seen a post addressing this issue aimed at college students.

I read a lot. This luckily hasn’t changed too much since starting college last year, but it can fluctuate. For instance, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. However, I’ll go the same amount of time only getting a little bit read. Different things factor in – school load, non-school activities, my interest in my current books, and whether I’m at school or not. When I go home, I almost always get plenty of new books from the library, but I don’t read as much as I would if I was stuck at school for the weekend, mostly doing homework or reading during the day because my weekend plans tend to be limited to later in the day and I’m often quite bored during the day.

However, I think I’m getting better at reading, and I think it’s very possible for people who are much busier than I am to still get in some reading time. Here are my suggestions that may or may not work for you:

1. Always carry a book with you – I know that you probably have a lot of things in your bag, but a small book or Kindle or Nook probably won’t make too much of a difference. If you’re like me, you’ll often have time where you aren’t really doing anything and are kind of bored. Those five or ten minutes before class starts when you don’t know people well enough to spend the whole time talking to them; waiting for a meeting to start when you’re the first one there; eating a meal alone; whatever – whether you have half an hour or more or just a few minutes, you might as well get reading while you wait.

2. Try an audiobook – now, audiobooks are rarely for me because I seem to take issue with most narrators, which is a shame, because I would probably get more reading done if I used audiobooks. You can listen to them while you’re working out, walking to class, trying to fall asleep (in that case, though, I would use headphones unless you have a very understanding roommate or none at all); the possiblities are limitless! Well, there’s probably a limit, but that’s not the expression!

3. Take a study break – I know you probably have tons of homework and the thought of putting it off for even twenty minutes can be quite distressing to some people (my roommate), but you’ll probably feel more refreshed and ready to deal with everything if you just take a quick break to read a chapter or two. Sometimes when I’m reading for class, I’ll switch off every section with a chapter from whatever book I’m reading. Sometimes it’s a little confusing to switch back and forth, but it’s normally a relief to get a little break and makes it easier to push through whatever academic article or text I have to read.

4. Have a reading night/afternoon/morning – seriously, you can take a break and have a “you” day, without going out with friends or being social 24/7. If a whole day is too much, you can just have an afternoon or morning or whatever and you can get in all your socializing at dinner or some other meal. If you’re like me, you’ll probably need those hours where it’s just you, your book(s), and the internet for when you want to be slightly social.

I don’t know if these suggestions will work for everyone – they don’t even all work for me (see #2 again)! – but I think they could be helpful for the busy college student who just wants to read a bit more. They might even work outside of college!

Of course, what do I know? Feel free to add any suggestions or totally tear apart my suggestions – you might even help me read even more!


6 thoughts on “Discussion: Finding Time to Read as a College Student

  1. I always make sure that I have enough space to bring a book or my Kobo with me. I don’t go anywhere without anything to read! I always try to take some ‘me’ time, especially when I’m in a very busy school period. It makes me feel less stressed 🙂 so great tips!

  2. This is a really good discussion topic! I graduated about a year ago, but I can still remember how hard it was trying to find time to read while also juggling classes and tons of homework (especially when I already had a bunch of required reading, since I was an English major). Bringing your Kindle around with you definitely helps…like if you get to a class early or are waiting for a bus or whatever.

    1. Even in my non-English classes, I have so many articles to read that take a lot of time out of my normal reading time! And unfortunately I haven’t been bringing a book around with me much lately – today I got to a class 45 minutes early and DIDN’T HAVE A BOOK TO READ! Such a sad day…

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