Books help me escape from the pressures of college. Some days, I just need that I just to lie in bed, pull up an e-book on my phone and read for hours. I spend countless hours during the week inhaling novels. I’ve even read three books in the span of one week.
Reading has become an addiction, causing me to sacrifice sleep. Even so, I don’t plan on stubbing out this addiction any time soon.
In high school, I would breeze through countless amounts of stories about folklore and adventure in high school. Internally participating with the dialogue on the page made me feel like part of the group of characters.
In college, I have started to transition to novels that pertain to looking at life and discoveries about oneself. I now gravitate towards Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë or A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. These narratives showed me new things about life. They’ve taught me to take risks regardless of what others might think, to believe in myself when no one else will and to have patience for my time to come.
Reading through this new genre has made me have plenty of “aha” moments. These novels encouraged me to read more, even with my schedule being hectic. My typical day has become intertwined with the love and adventure that novels bring to life.
I wake up and while I eat breakfast, I read a chapter or two. I usually use my 10 minute gap in between my classes to read intently with furrowed brows as I try to immerse myself for a short moment in a different world before reality comes crashing back.
I can only find time to read again at night. Lying in bed, trying to rid myself of the shivering that the cold weather has clung to me. I stare at the screen of my phone for an endless time. I push on even when my eyelids begin to feel heavy, drooping and my phone falls on my face.
Every day the cycle repeats, without fail.
Waking up in the morning can sometimes be extremely difficult. As I drag my feet all the way to the bathroom, wincing when I turn the light on. Each morning, I look forward to when I lie in bed that following night.
Despite the difficulty of waking up, I appreciate it because I know I set aside time to do something for myself. I had to sacrifice a couple of hours of sleep for it, yet I don’t regret my decision the following morning.
I work extremely hard throughout the day, getting my assignments done and creating study guides for my courses, being the “ideal” college student. I deserve a couple of hours of my day reserved to myself, regardless of the fact that I began reading at 3 in the morning.
Novels serve as my escape from the mountain-sized amounts of homework that my professors assign every day in class. They allow me to pretend that I live in another reality, perhaps living in Europe on an adventure to figure out a mystery. The mystery could lead to a self-discovery or shed light on a secret that the protagonist works to unearth.
I feel like I get sucked into a vortex when I start to read. One moment I lay in bed, snuggled into the covers, and in the next I find myself asking about a missing person in the early 19th century.
People might tell me that reading too late into the night shouldn’t take away from my sleep. I don’t care. Reading keeps me sane in the fast-paced and vigorous environment of a college campus. I consider reading at night a privilege. I don’t believe I’ve made a sacrifice. I simply use the time I have to reward myself.