Lacy Literacy

Book Reviews, Discussions, Listicles, More

School season is right around the corner, which means accepting the fact that you’re going to have to read less. However, there are a lot of tricks that I use to make sure that I can get in reading time all while being a Full-time College Student.

And, I know, you’re probably thinking “I’ve seen this on wikihow who needs another one of these posts?” Well, I’m glad you asked. As the person who read 834 books (some were short stories) in 2016, I feel truly qualified to give advice on How to Read More. And this was all while being in school, playing multiple sports, having numerous extra curricular activities, and doing volunteer work. I’ve mastered the art of multitasking. I know how to work around a hectic schedule to still get in copious amounts of reading time.


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The early bird catches the worm. I’m notorious for getting where I need to be way too early. Class at 9am? I get there at 8am. Committee meeting at 3:30pm? I’ll be there are 2:40pm.

My propensity for earliness has allowed me hours extra in the day to read. It’s usually a nice, quiet time because people won’t be around when you’re early for something. Personally, if I stay home and read and then try to get somewhere 20 minutes before I need to be there, I’ll be late. I’ll get caught up in the book or forget that I need to go somewhere. Getting to my destination early gets rid of the risk of being late and gives me more reading time because I’m not also thinking “I have to be somewhere in 20 minutes” in the back of my mind while trying to focus on a book.

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This one is important. If you’re a book blogger like me, you might feel pressured to review everything you read. I used to put off reading books that I wanted to read because I planned on reviewing them and dreaded the extra work.

Don’t fall into this trap. Not letting yourself feel obligated to write a review is helpful not only for reading more, but for your overall reading experience. 

Also, fully reviewing all the books I read would be impossible. When I know I’m going to review a book, I take notes and mark pages while I’m reading. This slows my reading pace. It also takes time to write reviews, which means less reading time. I simply read too many books to review them all. If I tried to fully review every one of the 800+ books I read in 2016, I would still be reviewing them right now.

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I cannot stress the benefits of Audiobooks enough. I’m not even going to mention Ebooks because if you don’t already have them in your reading arsenal (and are able to read them), then I really don’t know how you get anything done.

If you’re rolling your eyes, I used to be one of the nay sayers too. I refused to listen to audiobooks. Since I have ADHD, my biggest concern was that I didn’t think that listening to something, especially something that requires attention, would be productive. I thought I would end up having to replay scenes multiple times. I was totally wrong. I have read a significantly more amount of books since I started listening to Audiobooks.

Audiobooks require little effort, and that are perfect for multitaskers like me. I listen to Audiobooks while running errands, sitting in California traffic, working out, cleaning my room, and while going to sleep.

I know expense can be a concern when addressing Audiobooks, so if your library has an Overdrive account, use it. I’ve never had to buy an Audiobook before because of it.

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Sorry to all you “one book at a time” purists, but you’re being inefficient.

I can’t imagine reading one book at a time. I’m always juggling multiple books. I might be focusing on one book that I’m trying to finish for a review, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t already started other books.

If you are one of those people who reads 600 page books, there’s a good chance that you aren’t gonna want to lug around your 600 page book around campus just to get some extra reading time in. There in comes the power of reading multiple books. Depending on what your day is like, you can bring a differently formatted book.

A Mass Market Paperback of a Lisa Kleypas Historical Romance is much lighter than a 700 page Fantasy by Brandon Sanderson. You’re probably going to add that Mass Market Paperback to your backpack instead of a 700 page fantasy. Or, maybe you’re at the beach and want to bring an ebook instead of that special edition hardcover of the book you’re currently reading because physical books + sand + sea water = an inevitable disaster. And if the book you’re reading is erotica, you probably want to switch that out with a Young Adult novel for when you’re babysitting your neighbor’s kids.

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Reading during your classes? Counter productive you say? I think not.

Okay, so I don’t endorse this one for everyone, but it is one of the biggest reasons why I got so much reading done in 2016.

If you’re in college taking lower division courses like me, there’s a good chance that you already know some of your subject matter. I was leagues ahead of the content in my math class. Listening to 3 hour lectures was not productive for me, but the professor had required attendance so there was no ditching. I would bring a book to every math class and read in the back of the class. That was 3 solid hours twice a week to read.

Unless you’re sure that you know the material and are dedicated to your assignments outside of class, I don’t recommend this. But, if you’re falling asleep because your Cosmology professor is talking about the origins of the word ‘universe’ when you’re there to learn more about Supersymmetry, do yourself a favor and don’t waste your own time.

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DNFing (Do not Finishing) books can be a hard pill to swallow. However, it’s an extremely beneficial practice for people looking to maximize their reading productivity.

For a long time, I was one of those people who refused to DNF books. Instead, I would power through books I didn’t like. And by “power through” I mean “make myself miserable reading it and then it taking longer to read than it actually should because I hate it so much”.

Dragging yourself through the mud trying to finish a book you hate is not in your best interests. It’s a waste of time. Plus, it can land you in a reading slump.


 

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14 thoughts on “How to Read More Productively― Advice from a Full-time College Student

  1. this is a cool post! but first question: 800+ books??? whaaaaat? :O
    i usually try to read more books at a time in different formats. when i am on the road or cleaning, i listen to my audiobook. everytime before i go to bed, i turn off the lights and read on my kindle. and when i get home and have some time i read my buddyreads or my main book. but the most reading is done on the weekend. i don’t work on the weekend and i have two whole days to do my stuff and read.
    it would be great to read at work, but unfortunately that’s not possible 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Yeah, during my senior year (which was part of 2016), I read all the time during class. And I only had two classes a day, so there was a lot of down time. I don’t ever expect to read that many books again 😂 .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. this is so crazy! but you can be very proud of your achievement! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucy C says:

    I completely agree about reading multiple books at the same time! I always have several books on the go, in several genres and in both physical and ebook forms. I find audiobooks good for the car but I find my attention wandering if I listen to them at any other time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      I seriously don’t know how people don’t read multiple books at the same time! I would get so frustrated if I was reading a physical book, but couldn’t bring it somewhere I was going and then ended up wasting reading time.

      Audiobooks are definitely best in the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. airyreads says:

    A TRUE LEGEND. But honestly though super impressed by everything here. I do most of this stuff, except for audiobooks bc I get too distracted to listen to them lmaoo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      LMAO thanks Eri. Yeah, audiobooks aren’t for everyone.

      Like

  4. 800 BOOKS omg *bows down* GIRRRRRLL. I would ask you to tell me your secrets but here we are with this post sooo!! 🙈 This was such an interesting post to read, so helpful as well! I totally read in class haha. And ooh I really want to use audiobooks!! They sound like they’d be so useful, but I just can’t seem to get used to them gahhh. I do want to give them another try though! Do you have any recommendations for ones you particularly enjoyed?? 😄 Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Haha. My insomnia gives me the upper hand because I have more hours in the day.

      I’m glad I could help! I honestly love reading in class. It’s probably the only “rebellious” thing I do.

      I don’t blame you! Audiobooks can be hard to get into because some narrators just don’t work for you personally. I mostly listen to Romance audiobooks. My all time favorite narrator is Tavia Gilbert who narrates Night Huntress. She does an amazing job, especially because she does a lot of accents throughout the series.

      I’m currently listening to the audiobook of The Upside of Unrequited LOVING IT, so if you’re looking for YA I would recommend it.

      I recommend picking out a book you love and finding the audiobook for it to really see if they’re for you. It helps you get used to them because you know the flow of the story already. Also, try out both masculine and feminine narrators. I’ve found out that I typically don’t like masculine narrators because I think feminine narrators have a lot more range. I’ve listening to a couple masculine narrators who are TERRIBLE at “voicing” women. You might have the same problem, or might not, so I’d try a couple different ones before writing audiobooks off.

      Like

  5. I’m in love with this blog post, these are all great tips. Thank you so much for sharing them! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lacyliteracy says:

      Thanks Olivia! 💖

      Like

  6. These are great tips!! I honestly didn’t read a lot in college aside from rereading Harry Potter, but I feel like these still apply to my work life! I like reading on my lunchbreaks and when I used to take the bus I’d read on there (when I wasn’t nauseous lol). I also used to read at my desk on my phone when it was slow (thanks kindle app!). I’ve become way better at DNFing- there are too many books to get to to suffer through something you’re really not enjoying. Still haven’t become an audiobook convert but maybe someday 🙂 I do usually have a hard copy and ebook going at the same time, so that helps!

    Like

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