The Easter break is often far from what it says on the label – a break. With essay stress, revision, and trying to fit in a society tour, there can be little time to actually relax with a book. However, finding time to read a book not on the course curriculum can be a better way to unwind than bingeing on the latest Netflix series. The question is, how do we fit it into such a busy time?
It’s easy to decide on the book – a new young adult book, a comfy classic, a new crime thriller, or that one you’re always rereading- but how to fit it into a busy schedule is the real dilemma. Realistically there may not be a lot of time for fully unwinding and tucking into a book, but here are some suggestions to help fit it in where you can.
It’s a classic time to unwind, but just before you get into bed can be the perfect place to point up a book. Allowing yourself an hour to get comfy not only provides reading time you might not find elsewhere in your day, but also helps you to de-stress before bed. With our minds running on overdrive in the run up to Term three, switching off before bed is a perfect time to read. It also prevents unwanted interruptions from family and friends, allowing you a solid hour or two.
The slump hour
Everyone who has sat down to revising, researching and essay writing knows that at some point you hit a wall. This ‘slump hour’ could be after you’ve reached a certain number of hours, finished a project or when your brain just refuses to focus. Whenever it hits you, it is often best to just step away. Stop forcing yourself to work when you know you can’t, and let yourself pick up a book. Putting a relaxing read into your bag before setting out to the library can help you unwind and find time to read for pleasure when, despite it being the holiday, you feel like you can’t.
Another classic location, but one that is effective. Combining essential tasks like washing with a good read helps cut out those guilty feelings you would otherwise get when setting time aside for reading. A bubble bath and a book can help you relax – as long as you can avoid dropping it in, that is.
Over the Easter period, many students either increase their hours at work or find a part time job as the student loan begins to stretch thin. This reduces the amount of ‘you’ time even further as combining university work and a job takes up all your day. However, in the midst of all this is those precious twenty-minute breaks. Next time you’re on break, try switching the social media scrolling with that book you keep saying you’ll get round to.
Travelling can feel like a lot of hollow time on your hands. Many students often set out to complete work on trains or buses but struggle to actually do so due to distractions. So, instead of lying to yourself and saying you’ll work, turn to reading instead. The time is there, and you’re not cutting into studying so there’s no better time to do something you enjoy. However, if the combination of reading and transport is not your friend, a great solution is to download an audiobook. That way, you can listen to a new novel while you gaze out the window or drive on home.
Another way audio books can help the reading deficit is when cooking. With not enough hands free, and the fact that books can be a great fire starter, audio books can help soothe the cooking stress as they play out in the background.
Taking a lesson from Elle Woods, the Legally Blonde character might have been onto something when she combined her cross trainer with her work load. However, instead of a book for your course you could read one for leisure. Although, if you find that turning the pages interferes with your work out, the audiobook can prove handy again. Like when cooking, when you can’t stop and hold a paperback there’s no reason to cut out literature all together.
With all these options available, it’s clear that there are many ways you can fit reading for pleasure into your revision schedule at no cost to your studies or social life.