Recently, a college student told me she had not read a book “for fun” since she started college last year. I know this student joined several book discussion groups on campus, but she did not see this event as anything but academic since topics were related, although many times, very generally to an area of study. So “for fun” reading, at least to this one college student, is choosing a book without thinking about how it fits in with courses, careers, goals, and all those other things that go along with college life.
I know this student was a prolific reader when she was in elementary school, middle school, and high school. So what happens to readers when they go to college? Well, I think between the classes, the studying, the social life, the new responsibilities, the efforts to get to one end of campus from another, and all the other things associated with college, reading “for fun” just gets pushed to the background. So, reading for fun is something that waits for winter break or summer break.However, the problem with waiting until winter break or summer is students lose some real enjoyment time.
College, while for many an idyllic time, can also be a stressful time. Reading for enjoyment is a safe, inexpensive and convenient way to take a little break from the demands of college and lose oneself in someone else’s story for just a little while.
So, I made a small suggestion of trying to fit a little bit of “fun reading” into the schedule every day. I suggested 15 minutes sometime during the day. I also suggested carrying the reading materials around to see if during the day, a few moments could be stolen with just a little print. My suggestions were not on a grand scale, and I strived for a coaxing attitude. I hope just a few pages of “fun reading” during the day makes for a more balanced day for my college student. I think it would be a shame if all that adventure and magic and drama from earlier years of reading did not continue while she is at college.
For all of us, spending just 15 minutes a day reading “for fun” is a great balance to our jobs, to our responsibilities, to taking care of our families, to figuring out our taxes, and to trying to get from point A to point B. Happy Reading!