Skip to main content

26th May 2021

How to read when you have no time

Deadlines and exams are upon us and it can be difficult to find the time to read, so the books section have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you read and unwind
How to read when you have no time
Find a comfortable spot to read and enjoy a break from your studies

It’s exams and deadline season, so even if you did feel like picking up a book you might not have the time to do so. However, reading makes the perfect study break. Books can be a good way to take your mind off the real world and reading can serve as a much needed screen break during an online exam period.

We have made a list of suggestions to help you keep reading without taking up too much of your time:

1. Try short stories

Short stories offer the same immersive experiences as novels, but with much less of a time commitment. They tend to be able to be read in one sitting, meaning you can’t be itching to get back to it! We recently read and enjoyed Muscle and Mouth by Louise Finnigan.

2. Re-read an old favourite

Try picking up a book you know you love, even if it’s one you loved as a teen. This can be super comforting, and can help you to relax and de-stress. Plus, since you probably already know what is going to happen, you won’t get as gripped!

3. Check out some Instagram poetry 

Switch up your usual insta scroll by consuming some poetry. I would recommend following accounts of established poets, or emerging writers. @nikita_gill regularly posts her poetry on instagram. I personally love the poetry @bibliograbea posts on her account. Bea formerly studied English and American studies at the University of Manchester, and she publishes her poems and book reviews on Instagram. Here’s a sample of her creative writing which was commissioned for The Mancunion titled ‘the last time we went to the library’.

4. Schedule a time to read

If you schedule your reading time as breaks in your revision, or try to do it at the same time everyday, such as just before going to bed, it will be much easier to fit it in. Reading before bed can also help you sleep better.

5. Listen to Audio Books and Podcasts 

Audio books and podcasts are a great solution for tired eyes. After a long day of work the last thing you might fancy doing is reading another book or essay. I would recommend The Lit Review Podcast.

We hope our tips help you to stay relaxed during a busy and stressful period, but don’t beat yourself up if you slip behind with reading goals during exams. It can also be fun to write a summer reading list now, to help you get excited for when you will have the time to get back to reading!

Aileen Loftus

Aileen Loftus

Books Editor

More Coverage

The greatest band that never existed: Daisy Jones and The Six review

1970s rock roll never looked so good in Taylor Jenkins-Reid’s sun-soaked dive into LA’s music scene. Full of furious arguments, romantic tension and great music, both the series and the book caters perfectly to fans of 70s music.

Interview with Frederick Studemann: Judge for the International Booker Prize

The Mancunion sat down with one of the Judges of the International Booker Prize, Frederick Studemann, to discuss the importance of translated fiction and the diversity of this prize

Dear Dolly Live: Sex, breakups and tipsy confessions

Find out Dolly Alderton’s thoughts on everything from messy breakups to writing sex scenes at Dear Dolly Live, where “she just makes you feel better!”

Why do we still love Jane Austen?

Jane Austen seems to be everywhere, in film, Urban Outfitters and even in your wallet. We look into why people keep picking up her books even 200 years after her death.