Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding reading time during school

I am currently in my final semester of my undergrad. (WOOHOO!) I’m taking 20 credits and am working on my capstone project. I’m also working full time. Basically, some days I barely see the sun. Thankfully I have a boyfriend that understands the insanity of a final semester and doesn’t complain that half the time I get to spend with him I’m also doing homework. 

Unfortunately it also means I barely have any time to read. When I do, it’s usually just before bed and I end up reading a couple of pages before having to put it down because I can’t keep my eyes open. I don’t want to pick up any books that are too long because it would take so long to read I’d get bored. I don’t want to pick up anything with high angst levels because they stress me out, and I have plenty of stress as it is. I read Fangirl last week and loved it, it was such a fun read and was perfect. It also helps that I was out sick that day and spent the day in bed reading….

I need to find a happy medium. A good, entertaining read that I can put down when I need to but pick up and read a couple pages here and there when I have time. Anyone else experience this during their final semester? Or during school? Any recommendations??



  1. YES!! I just graduated in April and barely had any time to read at all. I pretty much had to stop all together. Wish I had some recommendations for you. Good luck!

  2. Oh good luck with your final semester! I completely understand, I'm in my senior year of high school and I'm so overwhelmed already but probably not as much as you. I think you should focus on your studies and don't think too much about not reading. I like to read something light like, shoujo mangas (contemporary mangas). I also just read Crown of Midnight despite being flooded with work so I guess I would recommend that :) I hope you find your balance!

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

  3. I'm currently in my final year of law school, so I can completely relate to not having enough time to read! I go through crazy-busy times at school when I know I won't be able to get in more than a few pages of non-school reading. When it's like this, I try to listen to audiobooks on my walk to school, or do some reading on my Kindle at the gym. And then, when I have times with a lighter workload, I try to really maximize the amount of reading I do!

  4. I'm in high school, but I definitely understand. It's extremely hard to balance, but at the same time, I've found that instead of procrastinating on Tumblr or other such things, at least I'm procrastinating by reading and blogging and *trying* to network and talk on Twitter.

    I would have to think about for recommendations, but off the top of my head, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. It's more appropriate during Christmastime, but I just read it, and it's still great.

  5. It happens to everyone ... I think!

  6. I would recommend Audiobooks. When I am feeling stupidly swamped with school, I usually get more "reading" done that way. You can listen while doing housework, exercising, or doing menial tasks at work. Other than that, try reading Arranged by Catherine Mckenzie. It's cute, and sweet- not boring, but easy to put down when you need to.

    Good luck with this final semester.

    ~Sara @ Just Another Story

  7. I had this problem at times when I was completing my undergrad (graduated this past spring, woo hoo). I usually read at night, but like you said, sometimes you can be SO tired.

    Here are some ideas for how to fit in more reading:
    - reading a chapter as a reward/study break
    - if you have an e-reader, I found it helpful to bring with me, and read before class, or just in those awkward breaks between classes, seminars, or while waiting for the bus, etc.
    - if you do take the bus, or have a long commute, one thing I really wish I had done was listen to audiobooks. I've listened to a few and enjoyed them and man, I could have been doing more than staring out the window!!

    Good luck with your final semester and I hope you can fit in some more reading!

  8. Good luck with your final semester! I just graduated this past Spring so I understand how busy you might be.

    For me, the following helped:
    1) Read short stories or short books so that I don't lose my place in the book
    2) Read something light and fluffy
    3) Bring my book around

    Hope this helps!

  9. I'm in my fifth year of med school (we do a six year program) and for the first two years I probably averaged five books the entire year. It was awful.
    I realised soon that reading made me really happy, and that it made it easier for me to focus on studying when I had done something fun like reading (which is also still intellectually stimulating). But it's not always possible to read, so during exams and busy on-call periods, it has to take a back-seat.
    I read my first audiobook a while ago, and I think that with some getting-used to, that could be a useful medium.
    I also started reading books on my iPad, because I always have my iPad with me in hospital for the apps and textbooks.
    The poster above is correct: reading "fluffy" books and reading short stories are REALLY good techniques. And by fluffy I don't mean without substance, really - just less "complex" reads - I read Eleanor & Park during my last exams, for example.
    The other side of the coin is that, during rotations where I know I should be paying attention to course work more than to reading, I check out books related to the subject matter. So, during my last Gynae rotation I read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and during Psychiatry I read "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
    Good luck - I think it's normal to have less time for reading during the last semester!

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  11. During my undergrad and my masters I did a lot of reading really "young" books. Sometimes rereading. I looked for the skinniest things on my shelf that I could read in one sitting. I also tried to stick with stand alone books. If I started a series or a long book then I would have to leave it for a bit and then I would feel guilty for not finishing it. I wouldn't be able to remember where I left off. Rereading is also nice because even if you have to put the book down for a while you still know what is going on.

  12. I'm in my second year of my MBA, and I feel your pain! I started a book club! We meet every other month and we try to pick books that challenge our brain but that help us relax too.

    I find that YA lit is the best reading when you are stressed. It can still be intense (I mean, I cried throughout the entire novel of The Fault in Our Stars!), but the writing is usually simpler so it moves faster while still giving you substance.

    Also, I found that rewarding myself with reading breaks really increased my productivity and decreased my guilty feelings when I was reading instead of studying/cleaning/sleeping. Set goals and assign chapter/book rewards based on how big the project is. I had a 150 page research project last semester, and every time I met a deadline, I allowed myself to take a few hours off to read and catch up on my DVR.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  13. I'm in high school which is NOTHING compared to post-secondary but still, I can feel the stress between juggling school, personal life, reading and blogging. Like I seriously need more hours in a day! To be honest, I can't blame my decrease of reading on school completely. Because when I finish my work, I'm just TOO tired to read so I don't. Which isn't school's fault, exactly. But the good thing is that reading every day (for 20 minutes) is a requirement for my English class. Which is great for those days when I feel like I want to skip reading!

  14. In my last year of undergrad I was able to find the time to read, 4 books. It was the highlight of my day when I had time to relax with a good book that wasn't school related.

  15. Nice list! I really want to read Unbreakable too =D

    Happy Tuesday,

  16. I know how you feel. I'm going through the same mud.

  17. I'm also in my last year of undergrad, so I understand where you're coming from. Good luck with everything! You can do it :)

  18. Thanks so much for the suggestions and sympathy, everyone!!:)

  19. I know exactly how you feel, kinda. I have just recently started working full time and my days are MANIC. By the time I get home and eat I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone read!
    I have started listening to audio books. I play them in the car on the way to and from work, plus I listen to them during my lunch hour. I have realised that people don't bother me as much if I have my headphones in listening to a book rather then if I'm sat with a book/iPad reading a book. I also listen them them whilst I walk the dog, but this was mostly because people look at me strangely when I take my book with me!

  20. I don't have any recommendations but I'm struggling to fit in reading time too amongst full-time work and other outside commitments as well as last week's illness. It's always hard but good luck making it to the other side!


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