Click. The rumble of boiling water sounds as the electric kettle goes off. I plop a bag of chamomile tea into my favorite blue mug, pour the steamy hot water over it, and indulge in the calming herbaceous aroma. I snuggle up with my tea and Kindle e-reader in a warm blanket on the armchair, which is tucked into the secluded alcove in the living room. My roommates and I have created a reading nook there, complete with a side table, a faux fur rug, and twinkle lights. It’s any bibliophiles’ ideal respite from a long day.
All is well until I’ve gone through my Kindle library and found nothing I want to read.
I used to stubbornly resist annotating assignments and books, no matter how strongly others recommended it. It felt plain wrong, even disrespectful, to turn the creamy pages of books into stacks of neon yellow and blue (because if you’re going to highlight, highlight with school spirit), sprinkled with scribbled writing about this or that. I was told that annotating keeps you engaged with a given text, can improve your memory of what you read, can help you save time — yet I preferred to write out quotes in a separate notebook or utilize Post-its to the point where my books looked like butter-colored accordions. Call it stubbornness, call it hesitation, call it Nadya just being Nadya — I did not and would not sully any assigned reading with pen, pencil, highlighter, or paintbrush.
With college came a greater need for time management, as well as more reading assignments than I’ve previously experienced, and my outlook shifted a smidge. No matter your majors or minors, college brings with it substantial amounts of reading, and coupled with actual class time, extracurriculars, and necessary stuff like eating and sleeping, homework can pile up to such a degree that writing out detailed notes isn’t necessarily efficient. We Honors students also have a tendency to intentionally make ourselves busy and take more challenging classes, putting us in a position for a greater need for homework efficiency. In fact, most of my annotating activity has of late been dedicated to assignments in my Honors courses.
With a great deal of perseverance and an even greater amount of ink, I’ve managed to fully overcome my perpetual annotation hesitation, and I’ll tell you what—it’s not all that bad. Generally speaking, annotating is great for visual learners (me), people who don’t read very quickly (also me), or those who’ve amassed too many pens over the years and need to use them (definitely me). Continue reading
When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? I’m guessing that this question will have plenty of different answers ranging from, “I reread one of my favorite novels over the weekend,” to “I have not picked up a book since 9th grade.” If you fall closer to the former, amazing! Books are a fantastic way to entertain yourself, to inform yourself, and to gain new perspectives! If your answer lies closer to the latter, you may just need to find out what kind of book you like, or find the proper time and incentive to read. I know that in college, I spend a lot more time reading journal articles and textbooks for classes than anything else, and that is why I am so happy 186 South College started a book club! Continue reading