Pro-Tips for Textbook Reading


It’s the beginning of the spring semester of college, and we all know what that means: reading. Lots of it. Unfortunately, a lot of this reading tends to be from textbooks, which aren’t always the most interesting. It also cuts down on your time to read for fun. What’s a bookworm to do?


As much as no one likes to admit it, homework comes first. And that means putting off your favorite novel until your assigned reading is finished. Never fear, though; it is still possible to read for fun amidst all your classwork.


The first step is to learn to read faster and more effectively. Many textbooks provide summaries at the end of chapters, and those can suffice if you don’t have enough time to read the entire thing. However, these should be used as a last resort or after you have at least skimmed the chapter. This brings up the second way to reduce your textbook-reading time: skimming. It can be pretty easy to find the main points simply by searching for keywords. Make sure you have a pencil or highlighter on hand. If you can write in the textbook, take advantage of that. If you can’t, take notes on a separate sheet of paper. Another issue with textbooks is that they’re long. I’m assuming you don’t want to be reading them for three hours straight. Break your reading into smaller sections and scatter them throughout the day or do something else for five or ten minutes between readings. Not only will it make it less daunting, but it will also refresh your mind and make it easier to understand each time you start again.


The second step is to accept the fact that you may not be able to read an entire novel in a day anymore. You may be too tired to even get excited by the idea of reading that book you’ve been wanting to read ever since its publication was announced. That’s okay. But if you do still want to read, you probably won’t have as much time for fun reading as you did in the past. You might have to wait until all your homework is done before you can snuggle up with your favorite book. If you still don’t have enough time to do that, you can plan out when to read or use it as a reward after finishing an assignment.


Don’t give up on your reading dreams!

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