The End of Summer Reading

Well, it’s happening. August is middling out, getting ever closer to the end. The end of summer, the end of summer reading. When fall begins, many of us must give up the wild freedom we had during the summer. Sure, that freedom is more than just the freedom to read a lot of books however and whenever you want, but that’s the part of this dying summer that is causing me the most pain right now. Sure, I’ve taken a sizable chunk out of my reading list, but I couldn’t quite finish everything. I kept buying even more books and reading those, which may not have helped. Let he or she who has not bulked up on books for the winter with wild abandon cast the first stone.

So, how do you deal with this sudden change? Reading time is restricted by returning classes, and what time you have left is often taken up by the reading and assignments of classes you now have to take care of. How do your deal with this change mentally and practically? Seriously, if someone wouldn’t mind telling me, I wouldn’t mind. It’s always a bit of a struggle, every year.

This fall term at least, I got lucky. I’m taking classes revolving around authors texts I like, mainly Toni Morrison and Shakespeare. I can’t say I’ve ever heard those two grouped up before, but they are now on my syllabus and I’m fine with that. Some years, it’s harder and I have to go from reading whatever I want to reading books I have absolutely no interest in.

As helpless as I may feel now, I suppose sheer experience means I have a couple of methods of getting through through this readjustment period, and breathing in and out of a paper bag at the first hint of a panic attack is just the beginning.

First off, maybe you could cheat a little and get a head start on your class reading ahead of time, if you know what will be covered and when. This homework-over-the-summer can seem like a hardcore nerd option, but think of it as redistribution. Reading just that bit of school stuff now means you’ll have an extra half hour or so of free time later in the year, when you’ll be needing it the most.

Next, and here’s where time is your friend, stay indoors more. The weather is practically begging you to do it anyway, what with it getting colder and darker the further you get into fall, so use the time summer you takes to go swimming at the beach or frolic around in lush green meadows to hunker down in a cozy chair and read what you like.

Hiiisssss! Go away! (Credit: Wikipedia)

Hiiisssss! Go away! (Credit: Wikipedia)

And finally, switching up the format always helps. I’ve talked about why I like audio books before, and here’s the perfect example. When school books take up your recreational reading time, even with the increased time you spend huddled indoors and hissing at the increasingly rare sunlight, take the books you want to read and listen to them instead.Listening to books opens up new times and opportunities for getting your “reading” done. Car trips, running errands, doing laundry, cooking, reading a book would be next to impossible with any of these, but you can certainly listen to an audio book then. Congratulations, you’ve opened up more time for your reading!

So, as intimidating as the end of summer reading may seem every year, the reality is that I… I mean you, or we, can definitely get through this and there is no cause for alarm. With some practical planning, you’ll find time is even on your side.

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