How I Read 50+ Books a Year in Vet School

November 18, 2017 Discussion, Tutorial 18

Now that I’ve come out on the other side of the stress filled horror of vet school, I’ve realised it that it’s a pretty decent achievement to keep up with my reading goals of 50 books a year.

Clearly this means I’m some sort of expert and completely qualified to enforce my tips on to you.

Without further adieu, I present:

How to sucessfully maintain your reading dreams in full time uni!

You don’t

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Uni was a pretty hard learning curve for me. Not only did I actually have to put effort into study for once (I was always that kid who would study the day before the exam in high school then get an A), but I had a lot less time than I was used to. Late high school did disrupt my reading a book a day patter, but I was still averaging 1-2 books a week. Uni started and I was lucky to read a every two weeks at first, then a book a month once I got to third year.

Despite this I was still meeting my yearly reading goals. And as much as I jest above, it is possible. It’s not as easy as I’d like, but it’s possible. 

Decrease your reading goal

Don’t put yourself on the back foot before you even begin. Keep your reading goal low to avoid disappointment. If you have low expectations, then you can only be surprised! It will make you feel like less of a failure when Goodreads tries to tell you that you’re horrendously behind. It doesn’t have to be super low, just realistic. 50 books is less than one a week, and takes into consideration that I will be reading more on holidays, etc.

 

Utilise your holidays (and maybe weekends)

I wasn’t lucky enough to get much reading times on weekends (the study never ended!) but you bet I read as much as I could on my breaks! A whole week of nothing? Better read and catch up! Of course this is where the slumps happen but it’s still the best chance I ever got.

 

Read as a study break

This is a dangerous one, but it can be super motivating too. If it’s a good book you can use the next 1-3 chapters as a reward for getting stuff done, though it can be hard to stop (I highly recommend setting a timer). I somehow always read the most when I was studying for exam. It didn’t make sense at first but then I thought about it: reading for 10min every hour for 2-3 weeks? It adds up! Normally I’d only be reading once a night when lectures were on.

Also make sure your book does not sit in/ near your study area. Make it harder for yourself to pick it up when you’re supposed to be focusing.

 

Read to wind down

After a hard day of stress and work, it can be hard to get to sleep. Reading was the way I switched my brain off. I’d read for 20-30 minutes before bed every single night. It was dangerous and the temptation to push on was strong, but it being the end of the day meant I was usually too tired to read for too long.

 

Audiobooks are a time saver!

Once I finish my bedtime book, I often put on an audiobook to listen to as falling a sleep (on a timer so if I fall asleep I don’t have too far to get back). The option to speed up the narration also makes it easier to get through a tonne (though it can take some adjusting to). They’re also great for listening to walking around and when on public transport (less chances of missing your stop compared to physically reading!)

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Those are my main tips. Different degrees have varying amounts of free time, and vet med is one of the busiest degrees out there! But reading in full time uni is difficult regardless.

What techniques do you utilise to meet your reading goals in your busy lives?

18 Responses to “How I Read 50+ Books a Year in Vet School”

  1. Sam@WLABB

    My co-bloggers need to read this, so they can write more reviews for our blog. XD I have to commend you though, when I was in engineering school, I went without sleeping and bathing. I had no balance what-so-ever. So, great job!
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…In a Nutshell Reviews

    • Bec

      Haha unfortunately while I read a decent amount, my blogging did suffer a lot :/ It can be really hard to find any sort of balance

    • Bec

      It really does add up so quickly! Though sometimes it’s hard to realise how quickly you’re getting through the book when it’s a giant fantasy novel (I’m currently listening to A Dance with Dragons)

  2. Kara

    OMG yes, balancing everything can be so difficult. I wasn’t at uni for long … but this was something I struggled with. Ultimately, I decided that uni WASN’T for me (partly because I just didn’t have time to read/write/live), but these are SUCH good points! I do something similar when I’m writing/revising. I say, “Okay, I can read one chapters/half an ep. of a tv show, etc. if I write/edit 2k or so words.” For me, it’s super helpful & motivating, but YES, it can be dangerous, because I tend to get sucked into my reward a little tooooo much. ;) I haven’t actually read a lot this year, and I’m strangely okay with it. Instead, I’m focusing on not stressing about goals & just doing as much as I can. :)
    Kara recently posted…NaNoWriMo: Week Two

    • Bec

      You have to be really careful with the reward system! There are many times I accidentally finished a book instead of exam study oops.

      I could do with more of your attitude

  3. Felicite

    This is fantastic! Thank you, I really needed to read this! I feel like I don’t get to read enough with being a full time worker as well as a full time uni student

    • Bec

      Work plus uni definitely makes it harder! I didn’t have to worry about the constraints of jobs which gave me a lot more free time

  4. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I honestly think you’re basically a superhero for managing reading plus uni!! *bows to your skills* I do so so love audiobooks though!! I also listen on 2 x the speed for them and like it’s FINALLY MY PACE AHHH THANK YOU WORLD. I do everything so fast haha. Ahem. But other things I do to squeeze in more reading time when I’m super busy is to get up a bit earlier to squeeze in a chapter then. Doesn’t always work out but I try.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Renegades by Marissa Meyer || Clever Superpowers But A Plot As Slow As A Turtle In Peanut Butter

    • Bec

      I have no idea how I managed.

      It’s so nice having someone read a book to you at a decent pace!

      For some reason unless I’m staying home reading all day, i don’t usually like reading a book before breakfast. I’m terrified of losing track of time and being late!

  5. Tyler H Jolley

    This is awesome. If I could have read two books while in dental school, I would have been impressed. I can’t believe what you’ve accomplished while in vet school!

  6. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I didn’t read a lot when I first entered college because I felt that I “didn’t have time” or that it was a “distraction” from studying. Then I realized that I was “distracting” myself in other ways…and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone needs breaks from studying and to do something fun. If you can find a time management system that works for you and keep good track of how much you’re studying vs. how much you’re doing other things, I do think it’s totally possible to read for fun while in college.

    (As a side note, studies very consistently show that most college students do not spend as much time on class/homework combined as they themselves estimate they do, and the average is about 17 hours a week spent on homework. Some majors spend a couple more hours. But, basically, a lot of people may have more “free time” than they think–though of course this changes with whether you also have a job, family, etc.)
    Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted…Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

    • Bec

      Oh year I had all of those thoughts a lot. I definitely felt guilty for reading. But I would have been worse if I didn’t have any sort of break.

      That’s an interesting fact. I definitely procrastinated a lot, but studied a lot too. Procrastination wasted a lot of my time.

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