When you’re studying, it’s easy to forget that people actually read for fun. Maybe you used to love a good novel but now all you do is read for your course, or maybe you’ve never seen the appeal. Either way right now, when it’s more important than ever to find things we enjoy and take regular breaks, a good book could be your saviour. Lose yourself in a mystery in a faraway land or read your favourite celebrity’s autobiography – whatever you fancy, you might be surprised how much it really does give you a break.
Reading in your spare time has been shown to reduce stress, improve your memory and focus, and can even help you to sleep better, and now might just be the perfect time to start. We’ve put together a few tips for getting into, or back into, the joy of reading!
1. Find books that you enjoy
The best way to make sure you’ll want to keep reading is to find books that you genuinely enjoy. If you need some inspiration, our content ambassadors have shared some of their favourite books – take a look at Malaika’s three books you need to read this summer, or Kirstie’s books to lose yourself in.
2. Make a list of books you’d like to read
Once you’ve found a few books that you think you’d enjoy, making a list of them can help motivate you to actually read them. If you’re searching for some new books to add to your list, check out Malaika’s tips to diversify your reading list.
3. Keep it cheap
Reading regularly can get pretty expensive if you’re frequently buying brand new books. There are loads of different ways you can save some money on books – why not try organising a book swap with your friends, buying used books, or downloading free e-books online. Also check out your local library website –there’s a good chance they have e-books for loan!
4. Join a virtual book club… or start one!
One of the best parts about reading books is being able to share them with others, and being part of a book club is one of the easiest ways to do this. If you’re not already part of one, you can join a range of online book clubs.
Alternatively, you could even start up your own book club with a group of friends – while we can’t meet up physically to discuss our favourite books at the moment, meeting up over Zoom is the next best thing!
Also keep an eye out for author’s hosting online chats about their work. The University of Manchester Press are currently hosting of a new series of online book talks, Armchair Events.
5. Put your phone away
It’s easy to spend far too much time scrolling through social media, without really realising how long we’re spending on our phones. If you feel like you don’t have enough spare time to read, try using the time that you’d usually spend on your phone to pick up a book instead.