Enjoying Assigned Readings?

None of my friends read in their spare time on a regular basis. I think this is because as students, we grew up with assigned readings that we dreaded reading and analyzing. Therefore, a lot of college students and recent grads that I know scoff and roll their eyes at their thought of reading “for fun” in their spare time. For reference, I’m surrounded by business and engineering majors, so not typically people who are known to read for fun.

Reading has been my hobby ever since I became literate. I learned from a young age that reading is fun and fulfilling, and I didn’t simply associate it with class-assigned readings. I’m glad that I started reading books early on because since I didn’t enjoy my assigned readings in English Literature classes, I wouldn’t have started reading as a hobby if I weren’t already a bookworm.

Assigned books for class are just incredibly unappealing to me. I think I’ve only ever fully read one class-assigned book.

 

That book was Passage by Connie Willis. It was sophomore year of high school, and I only finished this book because of the unique circumstances. The teacher gave the class a choice of five different books, and the students got to choose which one they read. The premise of Passage was the most interesting to me, so I chose to read that. However once I made my decision, my English teacher made it a point to take me aside and emphasize that it was a long book (yeah, it was 780 pages) and suggested that I read another book because this one was more than twice as long as the other options. She only tried to persuade me to read a different book because the only other two students who chose to read this book were frequent class participators and diligent about their English class assignments, unlike me. I was of course insulted, and went on to read this book in its entirety long before the end of the semester. However, this was a one-off case for me.

 

Here are three reasons why I don’t enjoy reading assigned books:

  1. The pace.
    As a reader, I don’t like having someone tell me to read only a set amount of chapters on a weekly basis. Sure, I know that I could have read more than the assigned number of pages, but I’ve tried it out and was even more frustrated when I did that. If I’m chapters ahead of the class, I want to bang my head on my desk when the teacher is dwelling on all of the possible meanings of a symbol that’s obviously a foreshadow, and I already know what happens later in the book.
    I probably finished reading Passage, as mentioned earlier, because of its unique assigned reading pace – since the book was so long, my teacher encouraged my group to read continuously, instead of in chunks.
  2. The intense focus on the smallest things.
    Okay, I get that some of the small things in assigned readings are really important because of symbols, motifs, and all of that fun stuff. However, when a teacher wants me to take note of the number of times the color white is mentioned or alluded to in the next five chapters, I can’t help but become unmotivated from reading the assigned book.
  3. The reminder that I’ll need to write a 5-page paper on this.
    “Oh, and don’t forget to abide by MLA when you write about all the different meanings that the color white can have in the context of this book.”
    It might just be me, but when I’m reminded every other class what certain symbols and details can be used for the next essay, it makes the book harder to read. It may be because I have always disliked writing essays for classes, but this aspect of assigned readings has pushed me to read chapter summaries instead.

 

I’m not sure if I’m the only bookworm who experiences this dislike for and inability to read class-assigned readings. From what other bloggers have written and from discussions that I’ve participated in, I know that a lot of bookworms genuinely enjoy their class readings. For instance, people talk about how much they loved reading The Scarlet Letter, Fahrenheit 451, Crime and Punishment, The Awakening, etc. for their English Literature classes, while I’m over here like… Yeah, those CliffsNotes were great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure those books are very well-written and have deep and important underlying themes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to fully read them since they were class assignments.

After writing all of this out, I feel like I’m a bad book blogger. I get the vibe that a lot of book bloggers are English and Literature majors, so obviously people who enjoy reading books for classes. Do I even deserve the title of “avid reader” anymore? This is how I’ve always felt about English class readings though, and I remember procrastinating on my assigned readings by buying and reading the newest book release. Now that I think of it, that’s similar to what I do now – I still procrastinate on my homework assignments (even though they’re not English classes anymore, thank goodness) by buying and reading books. I guess that could redeem me for my lack of love for English Literature assigned readings?

What are your thoughts on this? Do you enjoy reading class-assigned books?

74 thoughts on “Enjoying Assigned Readings?

  1. booksblurbsandbeyond

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. I used to hate being assigned books and unlike you I was not an early bloomer. In my highschool, every morning for about 20 minutes the whole school had to read, one day I got bored doing nothing so I decided to pick up a book and actually read. I was a goner. But, I still do not like being told what to read and what pace I need to read it at. I think you can still be called an avid reader despite not enjoying books for classes.

  2. thekatybennett

    I’m so glad to hear it’s not just me haha – I find assigned books so tedious! I got free reign to choose 3 books for coursework texts this year for sixth form and it’s so much better. Assigned texts seem to have all the fun taken out of them… Nah, choice is infinitely better 🙂

  3. jeanjeanjeannie

    Totally feel the same way. I’ve re-read (or actually finished reading) old assigned books and enjoyed them waaaay more out of the classroom setting. But squeezing in “free-time” reading was definitely tough during college.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Oh yeah, trying to make spare time so that I can read right now is a huge challenge. Luckily, I have less than two months left before my semester is over. I haven’t tried re-reading old assigned books, but I feel like I definitely need to give that a shot!

  4. Lois

    I can relate to everything about this post. I absolutely hated my assigned school reading list. For one, I hated being told what I had to read and not being given a choice. Plus, like you said, every time I’d go to read the book I was always conscious of the fact that I had to write an essay about it and that I had to focus on every little detail. The deadlines were another problem with me. Being given a schedule to read is not something I could dedicate to. For that reason I wasn’t an avid reader when I was in school and it was only when I was about 16/17 years old that I started to really appreciate the joy I got from reading a book for my enjoyment alone.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      What motivated you to read books in your spare time for enjoyment when you were 16/17? For me, that period of time was when assigned readings were given the most, so I’m surprised you took on reading as a hobby at that age!

      1. Lois

        I don’t actually know what it was that led me to pick up The Hunger Games, maybe I was bored but it was the first series that truly sucked me in. I still resented the assigned books at the time and I didn’t become and avid reader but if I stumbled upon a book I found interesting I wouldn’t just push it aside anymore. I’d give it a chance. 😀

  5. lisbethtejada

    I started reading for fun when I was a kid, so being a reader has always been a part of me. I don’t know how my love for books would’ve changed if I had started it as part of a class assignment.

    For some reason, the school I went to wasn’t really big on assigning books to read and analyze. (I don’t know if that has to do with the educational system of the Dominican Republic, where I’m from.) But, I did have to read a couple of books for class and I didn’t enjoy the experience either.

    To me, the minute that you have to be aware of the technicalities of the story and the writing, the reading experiences stops being fun. I like to get invested in the story and really enjoy it. If I have to stop every few other sentences to consciously note if a word, or a sentence or a scene means something else in the grand scheme of things, then reading loses its magic.

    Sure, I understand why it has to be done and obviously discussing books is one of my most favorite things to do. However, I like it better when it happens organically rather than a manufactured discussion you’re being graded on.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I think it might have to do with the different education systems in countries, because I know that a lot of other US students had to go through what I did. It’s really nice that you didn’t have to experience that too much.

      You explained it perfectly! It’s the way teachers make you look at books in a different light that makes reading assignments hard to get through. When I read for fun, I very rarely pause and go back a paragraph to take note of a sentence, unless it truly resonated with me. However when you need to be on the lookout for “significance” in a book, it makes it difficult to enjoy the read. Also, I love the term “manufactured discussion” – I’m definitely going to be using that from now on!

      1. nawfalaq

        Agreed. “Manufactured discussion” is a neat phrase for what happens in “mass education.” Makes the learning seem so artificial – as if students are just guided through the highlights of a curriculum like they are cattle.

  6. icebreaker694

    Great post! I totally agree, I don’t like what books they assign us with, plus I feel as though my teacher is just making up the theme of the entire book. (I just finished another assigned book and I have an essay test on it soon.) If maybe they allowed us to have some more choices in what we can read, then we could enjoy it more.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Thanks! Haha, I definitely remember feeling at times that teachers were making up themes in books, and trying to get students to prove their theories. Also, I agree – assigned readings would be much more bearable, and actually enjoyable, if we had more of a say in which book we read. Good luck on your essay test coming up!

  7. Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)

    Yes, yes and yes! I relate to this so much. All the books we read for class at school weren’t ones I liked much, and even weirder, we never finished any of them! We just read enough of them so that we could answer the exam questions and then the book was abandoned. I mean, what kind of message is that?!

    Often people find it weird when I say that I’m a bookaholic but never liked English classes, and the required reading is definitely part of that. It sucks the fun out of reading, even though it can be fascinating. Like you, I think it can put people off reading, for sure. :/

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s so strange!! I’ve never had a class where we abandoned the book right after an exam. My teachers would always ensure that there were exam questions related to the beginning, middle, and end of the book. That is such an awful message to send to students, especially those who already have a negative opinion on reading!

      In high school, I remember that people would always question me when they saw me reading a lot for fun because I would always complain about reading assignments for classes. A lot of people actually don’t understand how reading can be fun, which I think is something that should definitely be changed. However, it’s hard to get people to understand when they grew up with classes that made books seem like an uninteresting chore.

  8. thebookreviewpage

    For me in the UK our classes work a little differently. At school and college we are expected to read the whole book and then spend a number of week discussing different aspects of it e.g. a week on the theme of darkness or a week on a specific character. This method isn’t so tedious as we’re sort of all on the same page – see what I did there? At University it’s different again. We read a book a week and have one single class on it. Then at the end of the semester we write about one of the books we have read. That means you get to read loads of lovely books, have what is essentially a book club meeting on each one and only slave away writing a paper on one book. Doing it that way I don’t see there’s any way of getting tired of or bored of any of the books so I can totally see where you’re coming from the way you describe it. I think anyone would get sick of your classes!

    Personally I love studying books because you see things you didn’t see from a first read but at the same time if you’re studying something for too long then the magic sort of disappears.

    Either way if you love books then you’re entitled to the name bookworm!

    1. edbucks16

      Yes, having read this post I’m really pleased I grew up in the UK – as someone who typically devours a book in a few days to a week, I can’t imagine being asked to go at snails pace for a term, and how can you make sense of the theme and all that if you don’t know the structure? The meaning of a character or subplot comes out of their experience over the story as a whole. If you only read half of the emperor’s new clothes, you’d think that telling lies to the king is just what everyone does and it’s perfectly ok…

    2. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Wow, I didn’t know it was so different in the UK! I would’ve loved having that growing up, rather than what I, and most other US students, have experienced. It sounds like a wonderful way to properly engage students in books, rather than making them feel like reading was a tedious chore. Maybe if we had implemented that in our English Literature classes, a greater number of my current friends and classmates would be reading for fun in their spare time.

      Once I graduate college in a couple of months, I really want to go back through my assigned books from high school to properly experience them. Although I’m already familiar with the themes and plots, I think I could get a lot out of re-reading them from a fresh perspective.

      Also, thanks for validating my title as a bookworm! Haha, it’s much appreciated (along with the great pun)!

  9. Hilary (SongsWroteMyStory)

    I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day – We had both been avid readers prior to university, but lost interest for a while after we had graduated because of all the assigned reading. It took me over a year after graduating to get back into reading as a hobby.

    The overanalyzing is what got me. Why did we have to discuss the two sentence mention of a fireplace? The motives of a character that was clearly not important to the author? To me, it was always a story. Some books are written with the intention of being analyzed, but most are just for enjoyment or to tell a story. I hated that the professors made a big deal out of minor details to the point of ruining the book. (My old roommate, an English major, totally disagrees with me on this though :P)

    High school books were fine for me. Partially because I was always reading far ahead of my age, or, mostly, because we were a small class and allowed to choose the books we read.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Definitely – I really disliked it when teachers placed a large emphasis on certain words that the author used, when it was likely that the author didn’t intend them to be analyzed. The same goes for character motives, as you said.

      I think it’s unfortunate how reading assignments can not only repel students from reading for fun, but also cause avid readers to lose interest in the hobby temporarily. I’m not sure if there’s anything significant that can be done about this. However, as some other people have mentioned, giving students a choice of what to read, and letting students finish the book in its entirety before discussing it as a class are good methods to start with!

  10. Nam H Nguyen

    This was probably the dark time of my reading. For VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education. The Victorian equivalent of IB) I read maybe twenty five books in assigned and further reading. In university that changed to maybe fifty books a year.

    I almost forgot what it was to read for fun, but reading was a favourite of hobby of mine and I had to come back!

    Moral of the story? Never stop reading!

      1. Nam H Nguyen

        I did history units and philosophy in conjunction with creative writing and literary studies.
        English based units required you to read at least one book a week, and more for supportive reading. History was a nightmare, it was like four separate books at once to immerse yourself into the culture of the time frame and philosophy was much the same. My advice? Don’t take a combination of those units, haha.

  11. Bookish Ludatrish

    I can relate to this too! There are some genres that I couldn’t get through i.e. Animal Farm. But looking at the silver lining of assigned readings, this gives us the opportunity to explore different genres we normally wouldn’t touch. I remember in my high school, one of my teachers let us choose a book to read for the rest of the quarter. There were books I really enjoyed and still recommend to this day. (Memoirs of a Geisha and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

    I will always hate writing papers (shakes fists).

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s a great point! I probably wouldn’t have picked up most of the books that I had to “read” for high school if they weren’t assigned. I wish more teachers let students choose which books to read for classes – it would probably generate a lot more interest in reading.

      Haha, writing English Literature papers really was no fun. A lot of memories of long and sleepless nights…

  12. booksreenchanted

    Jorelene – what a great post! I was an engineering major back in undergrad, and I know what you’re talking about with being surrounded by people who do not read “for fun”. It can get pretty lonely, but nowdays we are a bit more lucky because we have online communities to share our passions with (I went to school in the early 2000s, when social media had not yet taken off).

    And I completely agree with required books. I still have an aversion to Tolkien and Shakespeare because they were forced down my throat – my goal is, by retirement, shake that off entirely so I can enjoy these books. What a shame!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Thank you so much! It really is great being able to interact with other book lovers in these online communities! As you said, it can be a fairly lonely hobby if the people around you don’t enjoy reading for fun.

      That really is a shame! I haven’t read Tolkien myself because I haven’t gotten around to them on my TBR list yet, but I’ve heard fantastic things about his writing, so you should really try reading his books! I’m on the same boat when it comes to Shakespeare though… I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to fully enjoy his writing on my own time because I grew up analyzing his works in classes.

  13. asherblake

    Rough to read ahead, or fall behind. How can I ever know another?
    What kinds of sorrows pit our steps? You would have me study yours?
    Talk to me of the sorrow in my past; loan to me a helping, potent vial you’ve extracted.
    Rough to read ahead, how about to be there, omniscient, and see so many fall?

  14. RoseRead

    This is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as an English teacher. When I was a high school student, I liked my assigned readings and enjoyed discussing themes with classmates and writing essays. I always understood that I was in the minority in this, haha. I was fortunate enough to really love my teachers, which obviously makes a huge difference. Then I became an English major in college to be with “my people.” (Aside: don’t ever feel like you aren’t a good book blogger because you aren’t an English-major-type!) Fast forward a few years…what I’ve learned from now being on the other side as a high school English teacher at a public US high school is that the goal of what we do is to teach critical thinking skills…it’s actually not about the books at all. It’s about reasoning and arguing and supporting arguments, etc. That’s where a lot of people misunderstand the purpose of English classes, I think. I wish I could inspire all my students to love reading, but that’s not what I’m supposed to do. I wish we could rename all English classes to something else so people don’t expect it to be just a big book club. Something like “Critical Analysis Class using English Literature.” 😉 (Coincidentally, I’m quitting teaching to be a librarian, for this, and a whole myriad of additional reasons). Phew, long comment! Great post!!

    1. nawfalaq

      Odd. Isn’t “teaching critical thinking” and “argumentation” absolutely not English, but Philosophy? Or, minimally, rhetoric? But then, how many school even have courses in rhetoric?

      1. Emily | RoseRead

        Yeah, it would make more sense in philosophy/rhetoric, but like you said, those classes don’t exist at most high schools. With the rise of Common Core standards, that’s definitely where English classes are headed.

    2. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Thank you so much for your in-depth perspective! It’s really nice being able to hear about the US English Literature teaching methods from an actual high school English teacher!

      Now that I think back to it, I’ve heard the words “critical thinking” used in my English Literature classes a lot. This actually makes a lot of sense now – that would explain why my English teachers honed in on certain themes and phrases in books rather than encouraging students to enjoy the books.

      Haha, it would be great if we could rename English Literature classes to something like “Critical Thinking using English Literature.” That would greatly change expectations for students! Instead of thinking that it’s a class for appreciating books, students would understand that it’s actually a class that’s focused on critical thinking skills.

  15. novelmuncher

    I really enjoyed this post; I also completely agreed!

    Similarly, a couple of years ago, the program “Accelerated Reader” was introduced to my High School, and I still think it’s an awful development. It graded you based on a test you took at the beginning of the year and got you to read a small selection of books, not recommended by taste but by how well you read (the test was very inaccurate also). It counted towards your end of year grade, too!

    An institution which forces people to read completely misunderstands how to encourage people; making young people to do things is going to make them even more reluctant to! It does sadden me to see lots of my friends hate reading and refuse to read.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this discussion topic.

      Did your school have that program on top of English Literature classes? If so, then that’s really the nail in the coffin for getting students to not enjoy reading. Even if that’s not in conjunction with the traditional English Literature classes, it still doesn’t encourage students to read for fun.

      It saddens me too when there are students who refuse to read, and even take pride in not reading, for fun. I know that having critical reading skills and making sure that students understand books are important, but they should really go about teaching those skills in a different way.

      1. novelmuncher

        Yeah, we have that on top of a recommended reading list (which wasn’t that bad as it wasn’t mandatory but they did encourage it a lot) and assigned novels for class each year. The teachers do try to add as many decent books as possible, I don’t think they like it much either, but it’s still not a good system.

        I really agree; the current method of “encouraging” reading for pleasure in schools isn’t really working, the majority of the time.

  16. Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf

    I have always been an avid reader, but I absolutely despise assigned readings. I minored in English at university, and the books that were assigned were very unappealing. These were books that I would never read in my spare time. Because the books were very unappealing only made the reading process so much slower for me. Add in the fact that we had to spend class after class analysing each book and my love of reading slowly began to disappear.

    It is only now, once that I have finished my degree, that I have found my love of reading again.

  17. emmalinescott

    I honestly loved most of my assigned readings at school, but I think I may have been lucky. A couple I’d even read before and so studying them in more detail and seeing things that I hadn’t noticed was enjoyable.

    I’ve always really enjoyed the ‘looking deeper’ process, though. My favourites were Shakespeare’s–reading something and having it explained and being able to see the humour, the drama, and the beautiful language that I wouldn’t have understood otherwise. Sometimes I think English Literature can go to far, and it will read into things that aren’t real, but generally I enjoyed looking at the more general themes in Literature in the classroom.

    I actually really miss that process!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’m really jealous! I wish I could’ve genuinely enjoyed assigned books for my English Literature classes.

      What’s your major in university? You said that you miss that process, so I’m assuming you don’t take any English classes anymore?

  18. chermaine121

    I studied English Literature and Language for my degree. As you can imagine the majority of it was me reading books every second. I definitely read some stuff that I found boring. But, fortunately, some of the other assigned books were pretty good! The good thing about graduating is that i can read more books for fun and not feel the pressure of having to finish it in time for an essay or exam.
    🙂

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s really nice that you were able to enjoy some of your assigned books! I wish I could’ve enjoyed more of mine. Reading for fun is always great though because you have a much wider variety of books to choose from, and there’s not that pressure, as you mentioned.

  19. Silver Screenings

    I did not reading class assigned books. I felt it ruined the story, for the reasons you mentioned in your post.

    However, now I belong to a book club, which is kind of like assigned books. Except now I feel I have more freedom to say when I don’t like a book. (I always felt pressured to find something to like about assigned books. I never trusted I would get a good grade if I slammed the book.) I must say, though I like about half the books we read in our club, but I’m always glad to read them.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’ve been thinking about joining an actual book club around my area! It sounds like a great way to meet other book lovers and to discuss and critique books. I’ve never really thought about the aspect of feeling pressured to say something I liked – that’s something that I’ll need to keep in mind.

      1. Lauren Busser

        Book clubs can be fun. I am going to one at my local indie bookseller in a few weeks and we are reading H is for Hawk. It’s not a genre I usually pick up but I heard good things about it. There are some books I don’t care for but that’s all a part of the book club. The next two months are The Luckiest Girl Alive and Euphoria by Lily King.

        1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

          Book clubs sound like a really good way to become exposed to a larger variety of books! Yeah, it’s impossible to like every single book picked out, but it would be a great place to hear other opinions on the books too. I think I actually will join one now!

  20. Lauren Busser

    I didn’t enjoy high school reading but I loved college assigned reading. Mostly because the writing I had to do was more opinionated and the resources I had to support my claims were much more abundant. I remember reading Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children for a British Lit Since 1945. I loved the book. I did copious research on names of characters and pulled a paper together in four hours and my professor said it was my best work. I actually have a burning desire to reread the book.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s so interesting! I wouldn’t know how to compare them because the only Literature class I took in college was an intro to writing course that was required for all freshmen. Now I’m wishing I took at least one other English Literature elective so that I could better understand the appeal that some people get from those classes.

      1. Lauren Busser

        It may not have been the same for all schools. The school I went to was designed for really niche topics where you could delve into themed works. I also took a course called Hail Wedded Love that covered Milton to Austen and the most lovely conversation I remember was “Why did Milton differentiate Adam and Eve by their hair?” when we read Paradise Lost.

  21. Janmejay Thakker

    Well even I like to read without any rules and boundaries. One reason I don’t have a membership in any library:). Well even I’m a bookworm and will like to read your blogposts as we are like minded!

  22. Sakina

    I didn’t like high school English either! However, I love sitting down and discussing books and I don’t mind if we’re talking about symbolism and the greater meaning behind the story as long as it makes sense and doesn’t take away from the book itself. But having to write essays really annoys me. I’d rather just talk about it than have to explain everything in detail. Also I always finished the book waay before everyone else and having to sit in class while the teacher summarized the chapter and talked about what happened was just boring. It’s one of the reasons why I decided not to pursue English in university like I had originally planned (and I discovered the amazingness of science ☺️). Oh, and none of my friends read either. Most people I know never do their course readings, so it’s highly unlikely they would read for fun lol.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I agree – I enjoy talking about the greater meaning of books, including symbolism, if it makes sense. I unfortunately didn’t agree with some things discussed in my English classes, and I would get the vibe that my teachers were making up symbolism. Perhaps I’ve just been unlucky with my English teachers?

      I found that reading books faster than the class can turn out to be more difficult for me in the long run! I always found the class summaries extremely boring, and I would feel like a lot of time was wasted.

      Haha, and I completely get what you mean – barely any of my classmates actually read through their course readings now, especially as seniors.

      1. Sakina

        I was taking a writing class this semester (which I ended up dropping because I hated it) and we spent about an hour arguing with the professor about a short story we read in class. We couldn’t figure out the intentions of the characters and I felt like my prof was pulling stuff out of thin air to explain what he thought was right. I liked the whole discussion we had with my group and the class, but my prof was so insistent on his explanation, that it just made me angry. Lol, I don’t think my friends have read a book for fun in years! That’s kind of why I started blogging – so I could meet people who loved to read as much as I do!

        1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

          Ahh, that’s always the worst. I think it’s important for teachers to be more open-minded towards different interpretations of stories in English classes, and to listen to students if they think that a certain view point doesn’t make sense.

          That’s also a huge reason why I started blogging! I didn’t know anyone who enjoyed reading in their spare time, so I joined this amazing community filled with bookworms. I’m really glad I made this decision!

  23. Briana

    I was an English major in college and am currently in an English grad program, so assigned readings are my life. :p And I think assigned readings have a lot of valuable, such as exposing us to things that, yeah, we would never have read otherwise. That said, I do think it’s very freeing to be able to read to your own schedule.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’m jealous – I wish I could’ve enjoyed my assigned readings more and found them valuable. I do agree that assigned readings expose us to books that we wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, so that’s a great thing about them. I personally just struggled with enjoying the class discussions and being kept to a reading schedule.

      1. Briana

        Yes, there is something about having to read to another person’s schedule and pace that can be frustrating. On the other hand, I NEVER would have read Middlemarch or Moby Dick in a week on my own! :p

          1. Briana

            Oh, yeah, in high school they take weeks to read a single book, which is just maddening if you’re a slow reader. My college experience was better. I’d rather have to read too quickly than too slowly!

  24. Summer @ Xingsings

    I strongly disliked assigned readings when I was in high school but I’ve grown to appreciate them a lot more in college. Then again, I’m a science major so I rarely have classes that require reading heavy texts to begin with. But the ones that do happen to be ones I’m really interested in. ^.^

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’m also a STEM major, so reading in my spare time is a great break from my homework assignments and projects. I haven’t had the opportunity to take any English classes in college, besides the required introductory one in freshman year, so I can’t compare them to what I experienced in high school. It’s really nice to hear that college readings can be enjoyable! Now I wish that I tried out more English electives in college – I’m graduating this semester though, so I won’t have the chance to anymore. That being said, graduating means that I’ll have more time to dedicate to my blog!

      1. Summer @ Xingsings

        Oh gosh, I may have mislead you with my comment. I also took one English class freshman year but we didn’t have any assigned readings, surprisingly. It basically focused on strengthening the students’ writing and rhetoric. But I’m currently taking a Greek mythology elective for fun! This is actually my last semester of undergraduate studies so it looks like I won’t be taking any English electives either. 😅 And that’s awesome, starting to blog is definitely one the best things that’s happened to me.

        1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

          Ahh, that makes a lot of sense. A Greek mythology class sounds amazing. I’m incredibly jealous you get to take that! I agree – although I’m pretty new to this, I’m absolutely loving blogging and I can definitely see myself doing this for many more years. Good luck with your last semester of undergrad! This is the final stretch for both of us!

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