College girl laying on grass reading a book. Her dark hair spread out behind her.

As a senior in college, you would think I’ve mastered how to balance my schedule by now. However, as someone who has decided to pursue two majors and one minor, this is not the case. Free time is something many college students have difficulty finding, especially making enough time to read for fun. Many of us have too much to read for our classes that no one could even imagine reading outside of coursework — except me! Since I am an English Literature major, virtually all of my homework is reading plays, poems, short stories, essays, and novels. I still manage and want to read from my own TBR list after all of my required reading. Here’s what I’ve learned in my four years as a college student if you still want to enjoy reading.

outline image of torso and arms and hands holding a book open and colored flowers floating out of it up to the discover books let the story live on logo

1. Enjoy reading to begin with!

Countless people ask me how I can spend hours reading for school and then spend hours reading for fun. To me, the answer is simple: I have always loved to read. Instead of putting on a mindless movie or sitcom to escape reality, I prefer my books. You may try to read more as part of a new year’s resolution, but if it doesn’t last, it’s because you don’t like reading. For those of you reading this, I’m guessing you all like to read because you love Discover Books! However, if you have friends, family members, or coworkers that tell you they want to read more, I would ask them if they like to read to begin with. Figuring out if reading brings you joy requires many attempts since one bad book shouldn’t cause someone to give up entirely on reading.

2. Discover genres that captivate you!

If you know you enjoy reading, you should figure out which books make you happy. As a college student, the last thing I want to read in my free time is non-fiction, but, for many, non-fiction books can bring a new understanding of life. I am drawn to thrillers and mysteries because I like the sense of escaping reality by solving mind games. Many college-aged readers enjoy books in the romance genre to get their minds away from schoolwork. Check out this blog about Colleen Hoover, a top romance writer most girls I know have read. One reason it can be difficult for people to find time to read is that they don’t enjoy the book they read. Once you find the genre that interests you, it’s easy to carve out time to read when you enjoy a book.

3. Carve out some you-time to read!

After a long day of classes and attending extracurricular meetings, I only want to eat and sleep. However, I make it part of my night routine to read at least one chapter before bed. I do this to make sure I fall asleep on a positive note and end my day with a relaxing activity. For some of you, it might be easier to find you-time first thing in the morning when no one else in your house is awake.

For others, you may need a break during a busy day to relax. Finding time when you could spend even 10 minutes reading a little bit of a book you enjoy can only help your love of reading. And, the more you enjoy the book, the more time you’ll want to carve out to finish it.

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Photo by cottonbro studio on

4. Stop scrolling!

For college students, I know this is the main issue above anything else: we can’t stop scrolling on our phones. It’s contagious, but it can be stopped. I’ve set up screen-time limits on my phone, so I can’t use social media after a certain amount of time has passed. By refraining from aimless scrolling, wasted hours watching TV, or spending time online shopping on your computer, you will gain so much unexpected time to read!

woman with a face mask and hair wrapped in a towel lying on a couch scrolling through her phone
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

5. Give audiobooks a try!

If you genuinely don’t have a few minutes to spare to hold a book in your hands, try listening to one! Audiobooks have become popular recently. People realize how much time they could spend listening to a book while doing another task. For example, I have friends who listen to audiobooks while they drive, walk to class, or go to the gym. Because audiobooks don’t require you to stop everything to focus, you will “read” more with the time you have.

Book Recommendations for “Attempters”

I carefully chose the word “attempters” instead of “beginners” because none of you reading this are beginners at reading. These recommendations are for those of you who are attempting to form a positive habit: reading more!

One of the highest-rated books of last year was Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. Everyone, regardless of their age and interests, seems to agree with its great messages. While it’s built around video games and love, this book discusses real human themes of identity, connections, and creativity.

But if you’re more like me and know you can carve out time for a good mystery, pick up The Maid. Described as a Clue-inspired read. Nita Prose’s novel follows the story of a woman who has to figure out who she can trust and what she can uncover about a wealthy man’s murder.

Then if you can make time for a cute romance story, I highly recommend Book Lovers by Emily Henry. This is a story about a literary agent and a book editor — what more can a book lover ask for?!

As you can see, there are many genres to choose from and many books that you will fall in love with! After reading this blog, we hope that you will be able to find ways to make more time in your busy schedules to read. And we hope you will discover some great reads with Discover Books! As always, happy reading!

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