How to Juggle College & Reading

When I first got accepted into my college, I was hit with a sudden moment of realization. Would I be able to continue my passion for reading books and sharing bookish content while in college? In high school, I somehow managed to keep up my grades, film for my Youtube channel and post photos on my Instagram. But even doing so in high school was a struggle, so how would I pursue this passion in college? Hopefully, this post will help you through the same problem I'm facing at the moment. In the end, the world will make time for the things that you love. Also, note that these tips are from my personal experience. They definitely won't be the same for everyone. 

Tip 1: Acknowledge That You Won't Be Reading As Much

The first step in managing your reading time right is first facing the fact that you probably won't be reading as much as you used to. College is a pretty demanding environment where you'll be asked to do things you've never done before. Some days you just won't have time to get any reading done. Acknowledging this will help you avoid squeezing time in your schedule to read as much as you read before going to college. Hopefully, it will help you step back and create a more reasonable schedule for your reading.

Tip 2: Get Rid of Your Goodreads Challenge! 

If you're an avid reading, you probably have a Goodreads challenge. Before college, Goodreads challenges were my life. I would always get super disappointed when I didn't achieve my reading goals or try to speed up my reading by the end of the year just to meet my goal. We can have a whole discussion about why Goodreads challenges hurt more than they help, but if you are even slightly pressured by your GR challenge, I would highly recommend holding off from it until winter break or something! 

Tip 3: Don't Eat More Than You Can Chew

Something I've learned in the past month of being in college is not to purchase so many books if I don't have enough time to read them. You'd think that buying more books would motivate you to read. However, studies show that when you have too many books to read, you actually feel more overwhelmed and unmotivated to read (and by studies I mean that my life has been the only test subject lol). This doesn't just apply to book buying. When you're packing for college, don't bring your entire bookshelf. Going back to step 1, acknowledge that you won't have as much time to read and pack accordingly. If you underestimate your time, you always have the chance to purchase more books or borrow from the library. 

Tip 4: Switch to Audiobooks

Let's face it, there won't always be time for you to pull out a book and start reading. Sometimes reading gets in the way. We want to read a lot of books but we don't want to take away time from more important things like studying for a test or sleeping. Audiobooks are great for multi-tasking! Usually, I listen to my audiobooks while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. That's 40 minutes of some good reading and working out. I understand that audiobooks can get a bit pricey, and as college students, we're always looking for cheaper alternatives. I find my way around the price by borrowing from audiobook libraries or simply asking friends to borrow their audible accounts if they have the book. 

Tip 5: Make It A Social Event 

Before I arrived at my campus, there was always a constant fear that if I wanted to read a lot I would have to sacrifice my social life. However, that is definitely not the case! You can host reading parties where you and your friends all come together and read. It could also be a lot simpler! You could read with your roommate while they are doing their own readings. You could join a study group, but instead of studying you could read your own book. I've found many ways around it since coming here. 

Tip 6: Change Your Reading Environment

Just because you can't read in your dorm room or lounge doesn't mean you can't read at all! I know every time I'm in my dorm all I think about is taking a nap, so I don't get any reading done in there. All you have to do is take your book and move to a different environment. The best place to go is the library, where others will perhaps be reading and it will be quiet. This method will also allow you to better explore your campus. It took me quite a while, but I finally found my reading spot! It's a giant circular window in the library (see picture below). 

As I spend more time on campus and it gets closer to the midterm season, I will come across more tips and methods for reading more. But at this time, these are just a few of the ways I've been able to come up with that have helped me so far. College is an all new experience, and I am glad that I am able to still continue my passion and do what I love on the side of my education. That's all for now folks. 

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Title: From Twinkle, With Love
Author: Sandhya Menon
Pages: 328 pages
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Source: Hardback from the library
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Buy it now!

Update | Where I've Been + What I've Been Doing

Even though I know this a book blog, it always makes me really happy to be able to connect with my readers behind the screen. I haven't written an update post in a while, so here is my attempt at coming back from a semi-long hiatus to write a post about where I've been and what I've been doing. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Where I've Been

Since my last update post, I finally finished high school! I graduated on June 21st with my twin sister, Kristina. Right before graduation, I left to take a 10 day trip to Japan. Our first stop was the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It had been on my bucket list to go to Japan for years now since I had been learning the Japanese language for three years now.

What I've Been Doing

This summer, I've been working two jobs to save up for college. I know I shouldn't have signed up for so many things, especially during the summer before I head to college, but I was interested in too many things to just settle with one! Ever have that moment in a store where you like the look of two things and can't decide what to get, so you buy both of them? 

Other than working, my off days have been super chill. I've spent them catching up on blog posts and hanging out with friends who I won't see in college. 

I've also started writing for a new website called Frolic. Frolic is an entertainment site with articles for booklovers by booklovers. It is meant to provide fun and intriguing articles about books and pop culture. I am so excited to be a contributor because lately I've been in a blogging slump and writing for them has encouraged me to be more creative and flamboyant. Earlier in June, I wrote an article about my favorite bookish tattoos from Instagram. Read it here

I have another article coming out today about books that will make you care about the environment. You can read it here! Finally, I was able to bridge the gap between my love for the environment and my love of books. 

I move in for college during the last week of August, so I'm trying to schedule a lot of content for you guys in the meantime. However, as college comes around the corner you will be hearing less of me throughout the school year. Thankfully, I have two wonderful co-bloggers (Yingchao and Gabby) to help lighten the load and provide unique content. I want to thank you all for supporting my blog and any of my other social media platforms. Talk to you real soon! 

Unpopular Opinion: I did not like A Court of Frost and Starlight

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 229 pages
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Source: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young/New Adult
Rating: 2.5 stars
Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Buy it now!
I wanted to like A Court of Frost of Starlight, but I'm fairly certain I'm at the point where I'll be hesitant about purchasing another Sarah J. Maas novel. Although I was abroad when ACOFAS was released, I was luckily near a Waterstones Bookstore and was able to obtain a copy on release day. But when I started reading it on the plane the next morning, I wasn't entirely sure if it was the story I had been waiting so eagerly for.

To be frank, ACOFAS was disappointing in the way that not only was there hardly any plot, but it read so much like a piece of fanfiction that I rolled my eyes more times than there were even number of pages. The "story" takes place months after the events of ACOWAR, during the Winter Solstice, which also happens to be Feyre's birthday. Our beloved characters spend the majority of the book shopping for gifts, being unsure of what to shop for, and finally opening the presents they received from each other.  There is a small side story that dives a bit into Cassian's past and another pertaining to reaching out to Nesta. But otherwise, it was like a classic Hallmark Christmas movie featuring the Inner Circle and friends (minus conflict).

As a fluffy read to purely kill time, ACOFAS could have been enjoyable. But throughout the read I couldn't help but wonder where the intrigue and suspense from a "classic" Sarah J. Maas story had gone. For years, her stories have always had a way of slipping beneath my mind and keeping me on my toes until the final page. And despite the enormous lengths of some of her work, there was never a second where I could let out my breath. With ACOFAS, I only managed to finish it while reading on my multiple flights last month. Needless to say, this book hardly held on to my attention.

But I wouldn't have been quite so bothered, had this novella been more about the underlying story (the one with Nesta and the big reveal) and less about the sexual tension between Feyre and Rhysand that was crystal clear on every. other. page. Not to mention the sexual tension between all the ships in this book. Is sex the only thing the most powerful people in the Night Court seem to think about during their gatherings and free time? And I'm pretty sure I would lose my mind if I ever heard another bloody mention of the word MATE. and...gentlemales ? ...question mark ?

Overall, this book makes me quite anxious about the upcoming Kingdom of Ash and the spin off trilogy to the ACOTAR series. If the bulk of Kingdom of Ash is anything like ACOFAS, I might just read the final chapter of it at a bookstore and wave goodbye to Sarah J. Maas books for good. It's said to be nearly 1000 pages and I probably won't be surprised if the word 'mate' makes an appearance a minimum of 800 times.

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