Face Off: Time to read

Rick Esner

There’s always time to read

Listen, I get it. Being a college student is time-consuming. Students have their classwork, jobs, volunteering and whatever else they are doing to be successful in their academic career. However, at the end of the day, reading for pleasure is considered entertainment. If you have time to binge-watch an entire season of Victorious on Netflix, then you have time to pick up a book to read, even if it is just a page or two. People just like to use the excuse that they don’t have time, but in reality, they are just too underdetermined to mentally stimulate their mind when they are not required to. If it is not a matter of being determined or not, then it is a completely conscious choice in deciding not to read and instead fill your time with another activity.


It could be as simple as reading for 10 minutes before bed as a person does not have to commit hours of their time to experience this form of entertainment. If a person really wants to read a book for fun, they are going to do it in whatever free time they can muster up. It is not a matter of whether there is enough time in a day to read, but whether a person chooses to read with their time. In the end, it is simply a matter of choice. You choose whether you want to read in your time or not. Time does not dictate your choices, you do. With that being said, if you want, in your next available free time, pick up a book you have been meaning to read and enjoy some personal entertainment. 


Kelsey Bruce

Too busy to read

I have a bone to pick with whoever decided a day should only have 24 hours. As a college student, I have to find time to eat, maintain my emotional and social health, do homework for 15 credit hours of classes, work a part-time job and get at least three hours of sleep. These are all non-negotiables. I also hold a couple of volunteer positions that don’t take too much time, but I sure do have to put energy into them regularly. Some people have even less time than I do, being in leadership positions for multiple organizations or having to work full-time to support themselves.


On top of all this, I’m expected to muster up the extra energy to read for pleasure, or I’m lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good book. I also love spending hours upon hours finding out where a plot twist will go or whether the character I adore will be okay. It’s not fulfilling to read a book chapter by chapter because when I read, I want to be able to dedicate all of my energy into the novel. Had I read my last leisure reading part by part — “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” my new favorite novel — I simply would not have had as profound an experience. I would not have felt as connected to the characters or had as much time to reflect on the lessons the protagonist and I learned alongside each other, and even if I had, I really wouldn’t want to split up my emotional energy to handle crying over a book and crying over the impact my GPA will have over future opportunities. There are things I like to do in my small amount of free time, whether it’s an episode or two of a mindless T.V. show to recharge or working on a watercolor layer by layer, but leisure reading is too deep and intense emotional experience for me to work into 10 minutes before bedtime.

Photo: A. Burden

About Rick Esner and Kelsey Bruce

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