Widgets Magazine
Making time for reading something other than your textbooks

Making time for reading something other than your textbooks

My best friend and I started our own book club. And by club, I mean to say that it’s just the two of us, struggling to get through all 1,142 pages of Stephen King’s It. Wistful thinking, perhaps even for spring quarter. I challenge the practicality of our endeavor because my beloved “Rinc Love” bookmark has remained comfortably nestled between pages 12 and 13 for the past week, and I can’t even say that I have the slightest idea of when it’ll find liberation from the expositional details.

We first talked about reading this book together all the way back in December, and we’ve both had our own copy on our bookshelves since the start of winter quarter. Well, winter quarter came and went, and now we’ve missed our window of opportunity to read outside under a shady tree without having to worry about caterpillars falling onto our hair. Sigh.

Why did it take us so long to pull that thick thriller out of the dust? While I can’t speak for my friend, I’ve unfortunately noticed that, especially since I’ve come to college, I’ve kind of been struggling with making time for pleasure reading.

For one, attempting (emphasis on attempting, not to be confused with actually succeeding in such an effort) to balance work, sleep and an actual social life has left me with very little time for much else. And when I do find myself with free time (if there really is such a thing, as I remain unconvinced), it’s hard to transition from reading three chapters of a textbook to reading three more chapters of anything, regardless of how much more interesting it may be to read about a small town being terrorized by “It” in the sewers.

It’s much easier to just be able to turn my brain off for a bit, staring mindlessly into a computer screen as some of Hollywood’s finest entertain me. You don’t have to say it. I’m disappointed in myself too. But hey, I put on the subtitles sometimes. That’s reading.

I miss the fire for reading that was such a fundamental part of my childhood. Where’s that little girl who hid under her covers with her Judy Blume books and a night light? Where’s the girl that would read in every car ride, even if it was just down the street, until she felt her head spinning? Where’s the girl who would countdown the days until the Scholastic book fair, marching in determined and ready to fill her backpack with good reads until it was bigger than her?  

I know that she’s somewhere within me. I mean, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her knowledge of everyone from Junie B. Jones to Percy Jackson. I guess I’ve just got to set her spark again. Sure, college gets busy, but if I can find time to read my Twitter feed daily (and several times each day), I should be able to find some time to read something else too.

I can even start with something as simple as making sure to read two pages a day before bed. There’s no way I could ever really come up with a valid excuse for not doing that. Granted, I’m not trying to spend 571 days reading It, but I’m sure I’ll pick up speed. At the very least, I’ve still got that 12 page head start.

 

Contact Kassidy Kelley at kckelley ‘at’ stanford.edu.