Reading for Fun on an English Degree

The pace of an English degree is intense. Two books a week and countless secondary reading leave many on the BA utterly out of love with the degree they chose. Gone are the days in which you got into bed with a text for an entire year during A-Level

It can be hard for many to keep reading outside of the time you spend on the degree. The utter volume of words can leave one scrambling to make sense of even the most basic texts, and the last thing you want to do after chatting shit about Foucault in a seminar is read. But with this in mind, here are some tips for reigniting the passion for reading inside you.

The first piece of advice is to experiment with different forms of literature. Staring at a book is a taxing experience, even if it is rewarding. The more passive reading experience that things like audiobooks and graphic novels can provide can be more relaxing whilst still challenging you.

Keeping on the crest of books released also means that you get a diversity of content far from having to meander your way through Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Actual literature that is responding to the cultural moment we are living through is a hundred times more enthralling simply because you are the audience. No one was writing Shakespeare just so you could enjoy it.

There are many invigorating communities on social media, and you can meet people whose enthusiasm is infectious. Our Books Editor, Zara Stubbs, is one of these people. She runs a great Instagram book club which makes reading a social experience far from the isolation of being locked in Morrell reading The Duchess of Malfi.

If you really want to get off of the beaten track, try and read more non-fiction. Personal essays and history books provide a fascinating read without you having to admire artfulness of language or composition of the text. If newspapers are your thing, why not have a peruse around the York Vision back catalogue…

It’s tough to keep that fire burning. At times it feels like you’d rather throw the books into the fire. But diversity and perserverance is all you need to relight the bibliophile within.

Good luck!