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So you’ve arrived at University. Your bags are unpacked, you’ve met your new flatmates and you’ve found out when the bins are taken out. In other words, you’re all set! Whilst University involves a lot of reading and wider reading as part of your studies, amongst making new friends, joining societies, staying in touch with your loved ones at home and keeping on top of work, it can be hard to make time for reading for pleasure. Even the most unsociable student has a busy life! Bookworms always find this a big shock to the system (even if some of us do Literature degrees!), as our hobby and outlet is something we suddenly don’t have time for. This can be disheartening, but fear not! We have a rundown of tips to make reading a part of University life and to reach your Goodreads goal!
A Daily Routine
Especially in this new academic year where many of us will be working from our Halls of Residence and student kitchen tables, it can be really hard to find a cut off point where we tell ourselves to stop working. Even when we flop onto our beds after a two-hour lecture for five minutes of peace, the thoughts of the next pile of laundry or what to make for tea still creep into our minds and the world of to-do lists and chores beckons. Just like a dash to the supermarket, a lecture or your weekly meeting with a society, one of the best ways to keep reading is to make it a part of your daily routine. We block out all of this time for the jobs we have to do and although we need to complete those tasks, we also must make time for what we want to do, such as reading! If you always have free time after breakfast or like to relax after a class, earmark that time for your current read and get lost in another world.
Always Carry a Book
Even if you never pull it out of your bag, having a book with you at all times means that you have a novel or collection of writing to hand for whenever you have an itch to read! Just like you would put your laptop in your bag to go and study, a book tucked into your rucksack means that you are actively making space for reading, even if it doesn’t happen. If you arrive five minutes early to a meeting or go for a walk and fancy sitting down for a while, instead of turning to the buzz of Twitter, Messenger and Instagram, pull out your book! Not only does this give you a great escapism from the world but reading means that you are withdrawing from an excess of screen time, which we know can be bad for our eyes and takes us away from the present moment. If you’re staying in, like most of us are this year, an alternative way of doing this is to always have your book on your bedside table or desk. The temptation to delve back into a fantasy world will be strong, but at least you will have the knowledge that once you’ve finished studying, you can treat yourself to devouring a few pages!
Reading through Listening
Audible, Scribd, YouTube – whatever software you use, audiobooks are an amazing way to keep turning the pages whilst on the go! Travelling, doing the weekly food shop, or even going for a run; audiobooks are such a versatile, portable way of reading, and really go back to original ways of telling stories orally before print existed! Audiobooks don’t work for everyone and certainly take a bit of getting used to, but give them a chance. You may even find yourself saving some money with student discounts as well.
Join a literary group
Regardless of your field of study, everyone and anyone is always welcome to literary societies such as book clubs and writing societies. If you’d like to feel encouraged and inspired to keep up with your reading, then why not join one of the many societies that Bangor has to offer? Bangor University Writers’ Guild has been running for a number of years, although is primarily a place for writers to share their work, the society also focuses on books and a love of reading. Found a book that you’d like to discuss? Bring it along! Likewise, 1815 on Waterloo Street also runs a monthly reading/writing club to unite bookworms in the community. For only a small fee you can bag a years’ membership and meet like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere. Finally, groups can be found through the internet, for example on Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. The more you look, the more you find…