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  • Writer's pictureT.S. Curtis

Trying To Read For Pleasure as a University Student

I am 30 days from being finished my Bachelor's degree. After five very long years and close to 90,000 words written for various academic projects, I can actually see that sweet, sweet finish line. My downfall as a university student is that I basically stopped reading for pleasure. Aside from the first three months of the pandemic, where I reread some of my old favourites to try and get back into reading, I did not have the energy to get into fiction reading for pleasure. I was reading as many as 200 pages of academic reading a week. Unfortunately, GoodReads doesn't let you track how many pages of Academic Journals you have read. I have also been in school almost full time since September 2020, because I took the summer semester in 2021. My brain has been on full speed ahead political science and history, stuffed with my main study areas of ethnicity, racism, colonialism, and gender/sexuality.

Back in 2018, I read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It was a spur of the moment decision to buy the book when I was walking home from a work shift. The easiest way home was to cut through the very large downtown Chapters location, and I saw it on a table. Something in my head told me to buy it, so I did, taking it out of the cash tips I was bringing home that night. It was the first time in almost two years that I completely inhaled a book. It was in my bag and I was stopping in hallways to read between classes, on the bus, quite literally in a stairwell at one point. Despite navigating two days stuffed with classes and shifts at work, I read the book in 48 hours.

I kept reading my poetry books and I have a ritual of reading Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree every October, and try to read The October Country but I don't always get to it. I was still reading lots of poetry books. I find them easier to read when I have a lot of work or a lot on my mind (which has been almost all the time).

There have been about a dozen books I read in a day over the past few years (first two that come to mind are Red, White, and Royal Blue and Iron Widow), but I do feel like I have missed a lot, especially in the YA Genre. Which means that once I cross that finish line and a part of my brain opens up again, I am hoping to power through close to a hundred books over the next year. I am planning to take at least a year as a gap year before my next academic pursuit hoping to explore aspects of my life, my career, and hopefully see some of the world, which means I will have some extra space to read.

I also have some writing hopes coming up, but I am keeping those close to my chest until I cross my finish line.


Happy reading, happy writing everyone! - TS


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