Let me get this straight, I am an avid reader. I am just like your former high-school acquaintances who spent most of their time with their noses stuck in a book. My biggest trouble in school was when my history teacher caught me reading a novel disguised as a history text. With the benefit of hindsight, I still believe that since I had finished the assignments earlier, I was free to choose what to do with the time left.
As I grew older, I started reading even more. For people like me, college might come as a great surprise, since they have to completely recalibrate their reading preferences. The lists of college must-reads are so long that the time you planned to dedicate to more promising novels will have to be given to something else. Obviously, some of the assigned texts will prove to be life-changing and you will even want to re-read them later. However, given the deficit of free time and your speed of reading, you might lack time for fun reading in college.
I am absolutely sure that reading is necessary for balanced life. While I won’t say no to watching a movie in a company of my friends, I prefer reading when I’m on my own. So, I spend my free time in libraries and have huge piles of fresh next-read texts on my table. The sense of huge potential in new books raises my spirits. Fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry, memoirs and fantasy, novels and self-help books – all of them can grip you with vicarious adventures.
As a freshman, I would bring stacks of books to my dorm room, and (under hostile scrutiny of my roommate) I would read the assigned texts for the next class or do a research. After that, with my conscience clear, I started reading my novels.
Apart from conversations with my friends, these were the most peaceful moments of the hectic college life.
In 2007, I started keeping track of the books I managed to read. Probably, this idea stems from my fanatic note-taking habit. However, I wish I’d begun doing this earlier. For the last ten years, I was recording almost every book I read. I say almost because I think that I lost track of a few. Below are the tracking rules I follow:
Why do I keep track of the books I read? Well, they give a sense of accomplishment and help to concentrate. I can compare the number of books I read each year and see if my reading schedule needs to be adjusted. For instance, in 2008, I read 140 books but in 2009 it was only 128, so I made it 153 in 2010. In addition, it helps me compete with my friends.
Hard as college can be, I encourage you not to give up on practices that help you recharge your batteries. No matter how busy you are, allow yourself a luxury of reading books you prefer.