College life, leisure reading not compatible
Published: Tue Jan 15, 2013
Reading is a hobby I very much enjoy. It’s a simple pleasure that not only broadens my mind, but also cultures me in ways that reality television can’t. A few of my favorite authors are J.D. Salinger (”Franny and Zooey” is a must-read) and Joseph Heller (”Catch-22,” a classic) — those who have taught me countless lessons about life, society and corruption. But since I began college, the tragic truth is that leisure reading has become nonexistent in my life. From the time classes begin to the minute they end, I’m always busy doing homework and studying. On weekends I catch up on sleep and socializing. Yes, I have books on my bedside table, and yes, I look at them every time I wake up, but never do I get the chance to sit down and immerse myself in a novel. I’m always worrying about wasting time or procrastinating on homework. Sometime before winter break, a friend and I were discussing our shared frustrations for having not read any type of literature for about the past four months. Textbooks were read, along with scholarly articles, but I had a book where I was 100 pages in and haven’t picked up since the summer. We both agreed that reading doesn’t take that much effort but it takes time that during our first semester of college we just didn’t have enough of. How many students actually go to the library to borrow a newly released book to read for fun? From my experience the library is a place to buy coffee, study with friends and print out homework. Occasionally, borrowing a book is required for a class, but I’m not even sure the library would have newly released books like the newest novel by J.K. Rowling, “The Casual Vacancy.” I know there’s a bookstore downtown, but as a college student I can’t really spend 20 plus dollars on the books I want to read and not feel guilty about it. Technology has created interesting ways to read books. My smart phone has several different applications that come with books already available to read. I guess I could read a little if I get to class early, but that doesn’t happen very often. I could ask for an E-reader for my birthday, but then I’d still have to pay to download books and also charge the device. I could get books on CD and listen to them in the car, but I’m usually in the car with friends and I don’t want to bother them with that. Reading, like any other hobby, obviously requires effort. Maybe skipping on a night out with friends to get through a few chapters, or saving up to buy a book I know I’ll enjoy. Although, college is, after all, an educational institution where students attend classes to inform them of different subjects and build their intelligence. But then why is my reading only limited to textbooks? I want to read about dragons that lay eggs and then start revolutions, teenage girls who have a crush that they constantly think about, and vampires that fall in love with werewolves! Books are fun and sometimes I miss picking one up and laughing or crying at the words I read. In this spring semester, I will try to take the initiative to read a few pages before bed. When I have a rare spare moment, I’ll dust off a book and read as much as possible. But as a full-time college student, I cannot make any promises. Life after high school has taken quick pace, like I imagine it has for many others, and I just don’t have as much free time as I used to. Reading is a hobby I am determined to not give up on, although I might just put it off until summer break.