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For many of us, reading is or used to be a treasured hobby, a means of relaxing and a way of escaping from the hustle and bustle of day to day life. Unfortunately, student life doesn’t tend to allow for anything that isn’t course related or CV building, but it’s important that we remember to make room for the little things we enjoy. Whenever I have spare time away from my degree or societies, I tend to opt for a TV show or a YouTube video- or reading that’s relevant to my course. We forget how rewarding it is to get lost in a good book, and to give it all your attention.
Although with all the course material available at university it may feel like when we do have spare time, we need to dedicate it to our studies, we all deserve a chance to unwind and get away from it all at the end of the day. Course reading is important, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of escape as reading purely for enjoyment. I’m sure many of us- myself included- have wonderful memories of reading as a child and a young teenager. Whether it was the Twilight series, Harry Potter, classics, comics or something entirely obscure, reading for pleasure shouldn’t be reserved for childhood. Personally, I’m planning to reread the Harry Potter series by the end of the year.
Not only can reading offer an escape from the stresses of daily life, but it can improve your vocabulary, make you a better writer, and improve your mental health. Sometimes the pressures of student life can feel unavoidable, and reading a chapter of a good book before bed or as a break from revision can offer a well needed boost, or just something to look forward to!
These days, with things like Netflix, YouTube, and a wealth of TV shows and films available every day, reading for pleasure can seem unnecessary. But you only need to listen to the thousands of people who argue that ‘the book is always better than the film’ to realise that it’s a completely different experience. Reading is personal, and it allows us to let stories flourish alongside our own imaginations and quite simply get lost in another world.
If you’re stuck for ideas about what to read, why not ask a friend what their favourite book is, take part in a book exchange, or just go for something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the chance. There’s also plenty of choice in the library on campus and even in local charity shops. You may just end up finding out something about yourself that you never knew before, or even making some new friends. Do something for yourself this year and make it a resolution to read for pleasure more often.