Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

How to realistically curl up with a good book as a college student

Hayden Lohr, OMN Photographer
Alina Kroll in the Student Experience Center on Jan. 30.

When the sky is gray, cloudy and rainy, you might think, “Why don’t I get under a fuzzy blanket, sip tea and curl up with a good book?” 

It all sounds well and fun until you look over your desk and remember the due dates, the essays, the exams and discussion posts calling your name. 

Although reading might be a great thing to do, especially in Oregon winters, it might not always be possible with the busy schedules that college students have. 

Oregon State University students explained how they manage to read for fun while also balancing classes and schoolwork. 

“I use reading to take a break from homework and screen time,” said Alyssa Kuntz, a third-year mechanical engineering student at OSU. 

Kuntz mostly enjoys romance and high fantasy books. Currently, she is reading the “Stalking Jack the Ripper” series by Kerri Maniscalco and “Souls and Sorrows” by Sav R. Miller. 

Some readers attend book clubs on or off campus to motivate themselves to read. 

One of these clubs many students flock to is the Student Literary Club at OSU, which meets weekly on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. in Moreland 214. 

“There is no homework for the club, but we do post readings that people can do in advance on our club discord,” said Alina Kroll, the club president and a fourth-year English and creative writing major.

“Once we get into the club each week, we typically them read aloud. They’re usually something short like flash fiction or poetry. So then (we can) make sure everybody knows what’s going on. And then we discuss them,” Kroll said.  

You can find Kroll in the afternoon, reading under a blanket while sipping peppermint tea. 

One of Kroll’s favorite books from last year was Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”. 

“There is a lot of dialogue and it doesn’t really go anywhere,” Kroll said. “But that’s kind of the genre… I liked looking at the different characters and trying to figure out their motivations and what they were thinking.” 

Along with reading for school, Kroll reads short stories and student submissions for Prism magazine, a part of Orange Media Network, which she also volunteers for. 

This year, Kroll wants to read between twenty to thirty books. She is reading two books for different classes, “Jesus’ Son” by Denis Johns and “Time’s Arrow” by Martin Amis. For fun, Kroll is revisiting “the Six of Crows” series by Leigh Bardugo. 

Kuntz also uses book clubs to keep up with reading. 

“I have two book groups,” Kuntz said. “One with friends on campus and the other with friends who live out of state. I think what makes reading so much fun is when you have friends to talk about them with.”

Kuntz uses audiobooks when she’s busy with homework or other chores. 

Although some people find it helpful to set a number of books as a goal to keep reading, others feel it takes the fun out of reading for them. 

“I’ve learned over the years that setting numerical goals for a year of reading tends to decrease the sense of enjoyment and exploration that come from stumbling upon a book,” said Tekla Bude, a professor at the college of liberal arts. 

“Read what is interesting to you,” Bude said as a tip to students who want to read more this year.

“If you’re reading for fun, it should be fun. But also recognize that sometimes books are brilliant AND fun AND also really f***ing difficult, and the difficulty can be really rewarding,” Bude said. 

Kuntz recommends finding a community to discuss the types of books you like to read.

“Lots of people love to talk about trashy contemporary romance books or high stakes fantasy politics. Having someone to talk with only makes it more fun and enjoyable,” Kuntz said. 

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