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Read a book? I’m far too busy

By River Reporter Mar 21, 2013

So what if nearly half of all KU students read less than three books per year. Can we blame them?

Sofia Capel

Some may reason that reading books is amazing. A good book can save a rainy day. It can make you laugh, cry, think, re-think, wonder and ponder.

But reading may not be for everyone. Some people like sport instead or prefer travelling.

Time before university

One of my best memories from my travels around the world is hanging out on the beach in the wilds of New Zealand. Well, more specifically: sitting in the car, parked on the beach, reading Alex Garland’s The Beach while my boyfriend went wild with the waves and his surfboard. 

But that was a few years ago, before I had multiple deadlines in a week, before Christmas holidays were all about finishing essays and writing reviews. And it was certainly before summer turned into an internship hunt while finding a part time job to survive economically.

Expectations to multitask

Students are expected to join societies, go to lectures, drink copious amounts of beer and get laid every now and then. Not to forget all the homework. How are we supposed to have time for a copy of War and Peace when there is not enough time to call home to our parents, or get other stuff done in time?

Short attention span

Moreover, there’s Angry Birds and Facebook and picking fights with people on internet forums and loads of other stuff which is both fun and distraction at the same time. Let’s face it: thanks to the digital age, our attention span is not what it once was. Twitter has messed my brain up, as well as yours.

I was never as happy as when I was finishing off reading Trainspotting on the train to Camden or starting off reading The Cement Garden under my parasol in Thailand. But it’s safe to say that those days are long gone. We are Londoners after all, students who are about to become professionals. We can’t afford to sit still.

Everyone was a student once

For nine-to-fivers it’s easy to look down their noses at us for not being cultured enough, but if they think back to their student years, I’m sure they will admit that they could not find the time for a good read either.

The astonishing world of literature will have to wait for a while yet. And no uppity better-than-everyone-else super snob can come and blame us for not reading enough books.

Besides, if the typical KU student reads more than three books a year it would probably be trashy literature like 50 Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games and the Twilight series. So, no great loss there.

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