girl with a book

Why Reading More Helps Me with My Grades (as a Humanities Student)

Humanities students, I know what you’re thinking. We have so much readings to do in a week, how could we possibly benefit from more reading? Sounds exhausting just thinking about it, right? But it just works.

My recently-graduated Masters friend gave me this advice, that I should read more if I want to excel in my courses, or pursue graduate school in the Humanities. Read more, what does that mean?

It’s not about reading more academic articles, or analyzing your assigned readings more than you’re already doing. Just read more books. Fiction, non-fiction, but fiction especially.

In 2021, I read a total of 30 books. So, what did that do for me?

bookshelf of multi-coloured books

It exposed me to different styles of writing. Let’s be real; reading academic prose gets exhausting. Reading different writing styles is not only refreshing but also allows me to see how content can be written differently but denote the same meaning as another writing style.

Reading beyond academic writing helped me to synthesis course ideas outside of lecture. I picked up on themes and motifs in books thar related to class concepts and it furthered my understanding of them. No longer did I see my readings as a bunch of academic jargon, it actually made sense when I read books outside of academia.

Promoted consistency in overall reading. I find that when I read books regularly, I stay on top of my academic readings more effectively. I had a healthy amount of leisure reading that I was able to stay motivated in tackling those lengthy course readings.

book page with text

Even during exam season, I still try to find time to read. I range between fiction, poetry, self-help, and other non-fiction. You may be wondering, when do I possibly find time for leisure reading? I open a book when:

I’m waiting for class to start. Whether it’s on Zoom or an in-person lecture, I always have a book on hand.

When I’m getting ready for bed. I usually like to do this on a night where I don’t have to get up early. That way, I can enjoy myself and stop reading when I please.

On transportation. I definitely read on the train, the car, anywhere I can sit down that takes me places.

On my break. When I’ve had a two-hour study session, or I’ve felt satisfied with getting some work done, I pull out a book to read a chapter or ten pages, at least.

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