During most of my college breaks, I've been so sick of looking at books that I only manage to get through one or two easy reads. However, this summer I decided that I was going to prioritize reading and read like I used to do when I was in middle and high school (which basically means read two or three books a week at least). At first, I didn't really want to. I had picked out a pretty hefty and deep fantasy novel ("Name of the Wind," anyone?) and I was struggling to get through it. However, one nice rainy day was all it took to kickstart me getting through about 75% of the book in a day and after that, I just kind of slipped back into a habit of reading.

I ended up finishing 20 books this summer, which isn't nearly as many as I used to be able to do, but also a lot more than I've gotten to read in a long while. Not only was it a lovely way to feel like I had recovered this piece of childhood me, but also it was a lot of fun. As a compulsive book buyer with not a lot of time for extracurricular reading, it was really fun to be able to knock out so many of the books that had just been chilling on my shelf. I was genuinely sad about not being able to read for pleasure anymore when the summer ended, but what I didn't realize then is that prioritizing reading over the summer actually really changed the way my semester has gone so far.

Yes, I'm in one less class than I usually am, so I have more free time than I usually do during the semester, but I've found myself reading more. Not only am I managing to get through all of my school reading almost every week (hey, you can't win them all), but I'm also finding time to read for pleasure. As an English and History double major who reads roughly two novels each week and several chapters of history books, this is kind of a big deal. I'm shocked that I'm not burnt out yet, but I'm also not complaining.

Now, don't go getting crazy ideas. We're about a month and a half into the semester and I've only finished one and a half fun books, but considering that I sometimes don't even get through one fun book in a semester, I'm definitely happy with this change. And not only am I able to get more pleasure reading done, but I'm genuinely enjoying the books I'm reading for class, something that doesn't always happen when I have to be thinking interpretively and trying to string together a paper as I go through each one of them. I don't know exactly how my summer reading habits have influenced this, but I can tell a big difference in the way that I read the novels my English classes assign and even my history readings. Maybe I just learned to truly love reading again over the summer, maybe I recovered this piece of myself that I didn't even know I had lost. Whatever the case, doing all of that reading over the summer has completely changed my reading experience during the semester and I'm thrilled about it.