Heading off to college equates to a long reading list in Language Arts, Humanities and Philosophy courses.
You may find yourself immersing in Dickens, Kant and Hemingway all in the same week.
If you’re not an avid book-lover those reading assignments—combined with juggling multiple chapters of authors at once—may bog down your brain.
Take some advice from a many-years post-grad alum and prepare your mind for the heavy book load by making reading a habit. Yes, when you were in elementary and middle school reading nightly was a consistent routine. But I’d be willing to be that your nightly reading binges have cooled off as you aged out of mom and dad encouraging those literacy habits.
If you are an avid reader and a lover of all things ‘novel,’ make a list of books you haven’t read and dive on in. For those who need a wee bit of a nudge, rediscover the fun of a good book with a few simple tips:
Make a List
Create a list of books you’ve always wanted to read—we all have goal books! This also will give you ideas on what to check out at the library or in bookstores (or online). Your list can include beach reads, serious novels, nonfiction or other genres. Don’t get caught up in trying to make a list of impressive Pulitzer winners, just make a list of the books you genuinely care about reading! If you need inspiration, BookRiotcompiled The 10 Best Top 100 Book Lists.
Read a Fun Novel
When re-engaging in books, don’t begin with something too challenging. You can, of course, start off with high-level reads, but reading should start with some easy fun reads. Pick books and topics you enjoy. If you love horror, peruse your local library for Stephen King or Anne Rice. If you fell in love with movies or television series based on books, seek out those titles. The Netflix series Hemlock Grove was based on a book series by Brian McGreevy. And the cult classic movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was originally a graphic novel (and, yes, graphic novels count as reading, too!).
Skip the Time
While your youth meant timing those nightly reading sessions, skip the clock checking. Aim to read a chapter at a time and then peruse the earlier chapters to pick up any details you might have missed (this habit will come in handy for difficult college-level texts). Reading isn’t about timing your sessions…just try to immerse in the story.
There will be books that you absolutely cannot put down. You may binge read for hours, but be careful when getting too caught up in the story. While reading is fun—and should seem effortless—even the best books need to be put down for a few minutes. There have been documented cases of readers developing headaches from reading too long, and reading for extended periods may cause eye fatigue. Give your eyes a break between reading binges…and also make sure to read in well-lit areas especially if you already have eye issues.
While you may be prepping for college life by shopping for linens, accessories and décor for your dorm room, you also need to train your mind for the intense reading requirements that come with the college course load. Use the summer to re-discover the world of reading and make a hearty list of all the novels you hope to finish during the long break. Move-in day will be here before you know it, and so will the list of intense required reading that comes with the college course load. So use summer to give your brain a reading revival!