I have been an avid reader ever since I was a child. I would read an entire book in a single day and always look forward to the next one. I would beg my mom to take me to the bookstore, only to inhale the contents of the book before the day was over.
As I got older and homework got more intense, I had less time for reading. I had to prioritize other things that took up my time, and reading was moved to the back burner.
When I reached high school, reading became a large part of my day-to-day life at school. By the time I got home and my homework was done, the last thing I wanted to do was read anymore, even though it was for pleasure. Streaming services became a much larger part of my life. They were easy to access, and I did not have to put much effort into following the storyline of a silly show, whereas, even the thought of reading a book after coming home from school pushed me further into exhaustion.
I started college at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time I would otherwise spend making new friends at my new school was instead used to re-engage in my love for reading. Because of my responsibilities, I still wasn’t reading at the pace I used to, but it felt like an improvement either way. Then, as the pace of school picked up and I eventually returned to school in person, my reading pace slowed down again. Eventually, I wasn’t reading for fun at all. Instead, any reading I did was for school.
This past winter break I decided to pick up a book and try to read for fun again. Between January 1 and January 31, I was able to read five books, probably more books than I’d read in all of 2022. I was managing work and other responsibilities, but I was still able to set aside time to read. I found myself looking forward to any sort of free time so that I could continue reading my book. I would bring a book with me when running errands with my mom and when I knew I would have to be waiting somewhere for a while, hoping that I would have some time to continue whatever book I was reading at the time.
Before returning to school for the spring semester, I made myself a promise to read a little bit every day. Some days I will read for hours, and other days I only have enough time to read a couple of pages. Either way, I am still reading. No matter how many pages I read or how much time I am able to dedicate to reading each day, I am proud of myself for bringing it back into my life.
Reading has meant so much to me as I have grown, and I think re-establishing this habit is nothing but beneficial to me and my well-being. I have had the chance to remember how special reading was to me in the past while also incorporating my new interests and reading goals.
I am excited to continue reading in 2023, and I can’t wait to see which books wind up on my selves!
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