Dealing with procrastination and avoidance

Procrastination isn’t good for you, and neither is avoiding the things you need to do. I know that. I know that for a fact.

Yet, the other day, I realized in a flash of panic that I had three extremely important things to do that I had just been passively avoiding for weeks – some for months, actually – and just had to muster the courage to face before it got too late. I needed to :

  • send a tax adjustment to the government (I made a small-ish mistake in my tax declaration and it’s been haunting me since I realized it)
  • send an email to my university’s administration to get my previous diploma’s classes credited so I can graduate this year (which. I’d like to be able to do. Tuition isn’t cheap.)
  • renew my medical insurance and my address on my social security card (it expires in a month and I have medical appointments I need to have that card / insurance for!)

Those three are, taken separately, pretty simple things that might take some time but aren’t necessarily complicated to do, and they’re clearly important enough that I should have come around to doing them a while ago. So how did it get to this point ?

It’s overwhelming

Sometimes, when something generates a lot of anxiety or overwhelms you, the unconscious reaction is to avoid it, as a coping mechanism : if you don’t think about that thing, then it can’t cause you any distress.

The problem with avoidance as a coping mechanism is that it teaches your brain that you aren’t capable of facing what causes you this type of anxiety, that it’s just so overwhelming that the only solution is to push it as much away from your conscious mind as possible.

Photo by @stilclassics on Unsplash

In essence, it’s the difference between stress management – the good thing, the one where you confront what’s stressing you out and deal with it in a way that makes you less stressed – and stress avoidance – where you ignore the stressors and hope they go away on their own (which they don’t.).

In the short run, sure, not thinking about it will make you feel better, help you not get overwhelmed by what you’re trying to avoid. But in the long run, it’s likely to turn your initial reaction to this stressor into an even bigger one – making it worse and worse until you either have to deal with the cause of your stress (in my case : those 3 administrative tasks that really really need to be done) or with the consequences of not doing it (here : losing my insurance so I can’t go see the dentist, or not being able to graduate this year because my classes haven’t been credited on time).

How to stop doing it

At the time I’m typing this, my papers for the class credit have been sent and half the classes have been approved, and my medical insurance has been renewed – I still have to take care of the social security and the tax returns, but it’s a work in progress. I’m getting there.

So how do you deal with avoidance as a coping mechanism?

I don’t have a universal method for this, but the thing that works for me – that actually works and forces me to confront what’s causing that behavior while not provoking even more distress – is to:

1 . Tackle one thing at a time.

Here, I’ve got three separate problems I’ve been avoiding unsuccessfully. I’m not going to try to solve all of these in the same day : that’s more likely to make me panic and quit / have a panic attack than succeed, and we’re trying to find a better solution than that. So I’m focusing on solving one after the other, step by step.

2 . Divide them into easily manageable chunks

Just like studying for midterms, if you try to do it all in one go, it’s going to be much more difficult than if you take the time to separate it into more manageable tasks that you can take care of efficiently and without too much stress.

For the class credits, I divided it like this : check out necessary papers / fill out class credit form / retreive official grades from my previous university / write email to the person in charge of class credits / add papers to the email and send.

While that may look like a lot of extra steps if you’re someone who’s not bothered with anxiety at the idea of doing important administrative papers, this was the right way to do it for me : it helped me stay focused on the small tasks I was doing, instead of thinking about the issue as a whole and getting overwhelmed by what was at stake here (and panicking. A lot.)

3 . Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Photo by @nate_dumlao on Unsplash

It’s easy to drown in something like this if you’re alone and have to do all of it on your own. But if you have anyone you can count on, someone you can ask some help from, then don’t hesitate to do so. My partner helped a lot, actually – not in actually doing the tasks that generated all that anxiety, but in making myself confident enough that I could handle them on my own.

Be it someone who can re-read your email before you send it for that internship you really want, someone who’s there to help you figure out which papers go where, or even just a friend to stay with you at that party where you’re so anxious to go because you won’t know anyone else… A little support can go a long way.

And if you feel like you don’t know where to even start, or that anxiety is significantly deteriorating your mental health, please consider speaking with a licensed therapist, who has the skills and knowledge needed to best assist you with these issues.

I hope this post was a little bit useful – if you have any tips on how to deal with avoidance as a coping mechanism, or with procrastination in general, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Jumping on the Notion bandwagon

It’s finally October!

As Zoom University is now back at full speed, I’ve been gradually shifting my interests in YouTube content from outfit and meme videos to studytube guides and tips for online school. I’m a very easily suggestible person, and I’d been hopping from studytube to studytube until I got to Mariana’s Study Corner‘s channel – which you can find here.

She makes a lot of excellent quality content, and has done a whole series of videos using everybody’s new favorite content manager – Notion. Being an aficionado of the bullet journal method, and loving writing stuff on paper all the time, I didn’t particularly care for it, but it still sounded interesting. It looked like something I might have wanted to check out if it fitted my style a bit better.

Then, CW from The Quiet Pond tweeted about book bloggers all making their personal Notion pages right now (and it was a really funny tweet, by the way), and that was it. I was interested.

So I went on the internet, hoping to discourage myself from trying yet one more thing just because I saw an ad for it, or heard people talking about it, and I googled “disadvantages to using Notion”.

The main one was it takes a long time to charge if you have bad internet. Wait. That’s not an inconvenient for me, I have good internet ! (I’m paying a lot for it, but with Zoom University, we couldn’t afford not to).

Aaaaand here I went, hopping on the Notion bandwagon just like everybody else. I’ve now spent a lot of hours on my homepage, set up a budget tracker, an internship hours tracker, a class tasks masterlist and a page to help me manage my late ARCs. And so far, it’s been great!

Image from @mikeyharris on Unsplash

I love how flexible Notion is, and how easy it is to use and adapt to your own methods. It lets you create tables, drop lists, checklists inside tables which you can filter according to due dates for your work, or different tags for your TBR books… the possibilities are endless and I’m enjoying it a lot.

So since I’m here and talking about Notion, I thought I’d share three of the videos that inspired me and helped me the most to understand all the different functionalities Notion has to offer :

And as an extra, if anyone’s interested, here are some pictures of my current Notion setup :

October wrap-up : books, goals, life in general

October has been a difficult month (I feel like I say this every month these days… maybe it’s been a difficult year ?) but it was also full of interesting things, events, and a lot of good days of reading !

Here’s a short overview of what happened :

October goals

I totally aced my October goals !

  1. I filled out and sent my student loans application, and sent confirmation to the student loans organization that I was, in fact, still a student, so I don’t have to start paying back my student loans right away.
  2. I got involved in my program’s student group, and made a few friends there – there’s a lot of really nice people and I’m super happy to have met them !
  3. This one is only partially done, but hey. That still counts. I found a therapist for 3 free sessions in the month – it’s only three, because it’s paid by the university and they only offer 3 sessions a year, but that’s still pretty useful !
  4. I cleared out my wardrobe, Marie Kondo style, and got slightly better at fashion. Great changes won’t happen overnight, but I’m happier with the way I look, and that counts as a win for me !
  5. The local fresh produce marked turned out to be close to my house, open every day of the week, full of amazing food and totally affordable ! Having the right ingredients motivated me to cook more and eat better.
  6. I finally got a library card ! Two, actually. So I promptly borrowed and downloaded as many books as I was allowed to.
  7. I applied to a lot of jobs, still waiting to see how that’ll turn out.
  8. Sports still aren’t my thing, but I’m now doing a kickboxing class once a week, and trying to exercise on two days a week total – it’s not the best thing ever, but I’m getting better at it. Slowly.
  9. My phone usage wasn’t lowered much this month, but I tried to use it more responsibly – most of my time spent on that screen was spent reading e-ARCs instead of playing videogames that make me lose my time, so I’m feeling good about this one.
  10. See point “IRL classes and finals”
Books read

I totally didn’t read my whole October TBR – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read books at all ! In fact, I managed to fit more than 10 books in my already busy schedule :

  • Out with the ex, in with the new, by Sophie Ranald
  • Everything isn’t terrible, by Kathleen Smith
  • Only mostly devastated, by Sophie Gonzales (I’ll review this one later this month and add the link here !)
  • Eff this ! Meditation, by Lisa Kindred – see my review on Goodreads here
  • Mooncakes, by Suzanne Walker – See my review here
  • Digital minimalism, by Cal Newport
  • Irresistible, by Adam Alter (I’m not entirely done with this one !)
  • The year of less, by Cait Flanders – See my review here
  • Ask a manager, by Alison Green
  • The bride test, by Helen Hoang
  • Spark joy, by Marie Kondo – See my review here

I’ll try to post medium length to full length reviews of the ones I haven’t reviewed yet here, but I can’t promise anything : I’m still pretty busy and writing full reviews takes so much time !

Blogtober

I planned to try and do Blogtober as much as I could, and I think it went pretty well : for a person who usually posts up to 4 blog posts a month, I published 10 of those in October ! I’m really happy about this, because setting myself this goal helped a lot in writing more regularly and getting my life a bit more in hand.

Which means : now that I know I can do it, I’m going to try to keep posting this regularly, and we’ll see how this goes !

IRL classes and finals

I studied pretty hard for all my classes – my midterms were at the end of the month and I absolutely need A+ in everything to be able to get the diploma I want to have, so I ended up super stressed out about everything and anything I could think about.

Fortunately, blogging and reading helped me relax a bit and focus more efficiently on the things I wanted to do well, and so far, I got A+ on 3 out of my 5 classes. I’m still waiting on 2 results, and I know at least one of those is going to be really bad, but I’m already working on how to fix this and how to get better in this specific class.

How did your month of October go ? Did you post your monthly wrap-up ? Feel free to link it in the comments so I can check it out !

WWW Wednesdays #1

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted on Taking on a world of words, and it is a short recap of three regular reading questions : What are you currently reading ? What did you recently finish ? What do you think you’ll start reading next ?

This past week has been pretty good in terms of reading – I haven’t been keeping up properly with my blogtober posts because it’s exam week (or, more appropriately, exam weeks, plural) but that hasn’t stopped me from reading ! The fact that I have to spend at least 1 hour in the metro every day helps a lot with that too… So here’s my recap !

What are you currently reading

I’m currently making my way through an e-ARC of Everything isn’t terrible, by Kathleen Smith, and it’s taking me some time because I want to properly pay attention to 100% of the content (and there’s a lot!).

What did you recently finish

I recently finished reading an ARC of Only Mostly Devastated, by Sophie Gonzalez – I’ll post my review here closer to the release date, but I definitely loved it and it hit pretty close to home – much closer than I expected when I requested this ARC.

I also finished the bride test, by Helen Hoang (my local library finally had a copy available !) – I’m hoping to be able to write a review of it by the end of October, if the finals let me breathe a bit this weekend – and Ask a manager, by Alison Green, as well as an e-ARC of Out with the ex, in with the new ! by Sophie Ranald.

What do you think you’ll start next

I just picked up Rage becomes her at my local library today, and I’ve been waiting to read this book for so long now, I think this might be my next one, before the rest of my October TBR. We’ll see !

Spark joy, by Marie Kondo (+ the year of Less)

I’ve been reading nonstop this week – I don’t know why, or how this is happenning, but I’m taking advantage of it and reading as many books from my TBR as I can. So for today, I’m making 2 short reviews. These books were on a very similar theme, and I read both of them in two consecutive days, so I felt like they went together pretty well !

Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo spark joy

The secret to Marie Kondo’s unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something ‘sparks joy’ and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. When you surround yourself with things you love you will find that your whole life begins to change.

I got this ebook from my local library, after reading Kondo’s previous book, the life-changing magic of tidying up, then watching every single episode of her TV show, and using her method to sort trough my stuff when I moved 18 hours away from home in September (with only 3 pieces of luggage to hold all of my belongings. I discarded, a lot.)

I loved the addition of the drawings – this was something that was lacking in her previous book, and that the TV show compensated for a bit : when explaining in detail how things are supposed to fit together, or how to fold or arrange objects, a visual representation is extremely useful !

I know that this isn’t a book for everyone : Kondo explains a lot about her philosophy (including why she speaks to her belongings and talks about their spirit), and from the few negative reviews that I read, it seems like Americans really have a hard time with that. It works well for me, though, so if you’re a bit into spirituality and open to a new worldview, it should be a pretty easy read !

I do think you need to have read her first book to appreciate the second one properly, though, so I’d recommend doing that first.

The year of less, by Cait Flanders
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In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping her from meeting her goals—she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

I rated this book 3 stars on Goodreads – I liked it, mostly because the more I read memoirs, the more I realize that’s something I actually do enjoy reading a lot, but most of the tips and strategies described in it just weren’t things that I could apply myself, and that made me feel a bit disconnected from what the author was describing. I have a very small monthly budget and I just don’t have the money to spend more than the sometimes bare minimum, so the “shopaholic” lifestyle is a long way from mine.

The only thing I spend more money on than I should is food, which I often used as a point of comparison while reading – I actually think I might take the challenge, adapt it a bit for myself and see if I can reduce my food spending to help me be more secure with my finances, and make my sugar addiction a bit less severe.

I really liked the structure of this memoir, though : it’s separated into months, for the months during which Cait Flanders had her ongoing “shopping ban experiment”, and it really helped with seeing the evolution of her situation more clearly.

Overall, this was an easy read, even though I didn’t get that much out of it. I suspect it might be, in part, due to the similarity with the Marie Kondo method of discarding and tidying, something the author mentions while explaining her own thought process on the subject, early in the book.

Have you read any books on a similar topic ? Do you have any books on tidying and minimalism that you would recommend ? I’m open to suggestions !

5 online classes I’d like to take

(If my IRL classes finally let me breathe !)

I’ve been in university for 5 years now, and am showing no signs of stopping anytime soon – I’m trying to get grades good enough to be able to do a doctorate, so I’ve got at least 6-7 more years ahead of me. Classes are hell and take so much of my time… but there’s still more stuff I want to learn than stuff I have no interest in.

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for every single class I want to take – it’s the miracle of free online classes ! I especially love the platform Alison (I swear this is not a sponsored post, I just honestly love their online classes) and the french platform Fun.

So here are my top 5 classes of the moment that I’m planning to take – as soon as my IRL  psychology classes let me have a few hours to myself !

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E-business and E-commerce

I’m cheating : most of those aren’t actually classes, they’re learning paths : a group of separate classes all centered around the same topic. This first one, e-business and e-commerce, is composed of 7 separate classes, including one on e-commerce web strategy, and one on social media strategies for small businesses.

There’s probably never going to be a time when I’ll actually need to know that stuff, but I kinda just want to learn it for the fun of it.

Study skills

Another learning path, this one only has three classes on essential study skills – and I desperately need to improve mine. For years, I’ve thought that the best way to study was to just learn by heart every single word of my class notes, and write them all again on my exam paper. Turns out, in university, that’s not how it works – and it’s taken me a long time to realize that.

Which means : I’m in need of a new study strategy, ASAP. Hence this class. (Or learning path. Whatever.)

Hospitality management

I’ve worked in a hotel for a while before, as a housekeeper, and I’d love to do it again someday. It’s a good job, it pays the bills, and all my coworkers were nice. But ever since I worked there, I’ve been meaning to learn more about customer service and the hospitality industry in general. This learning path in hospitality management seems to be pretty useful in this way, and I’m especially interested in the hotel operations class !

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Human nutrition

I know nothing about nutrition. And I mean, nothing. At 21, realizing that I have no idea what kind of foods my body needs or how much I should ingest… didn’t go well. I’m overdue for some education about food and human nutrition.

Agir pour sa santé ! (Act for your health !)

This last one is actually a separate class ! It’s a french class on health, which should be pretty similar to the previous one but still different enough that I don’t feel like I’m taking the same class twice. It’s about the determinants of health, and how we, as individuals, can act to preserve / improve our own health.

As French is my first language, it should also be much easier for me to follow, and faster to go through than the other ones in this post – I read English pretty fast, but learning new material is still a bit harder when it’s not your first language.

Are there any online classes that you’d like to take ? Or did you take so many boring high school / university classes that you can’t bear to think about taking any more for fun ? Feel free to tell me about it in the comments !
N.B. : All the photos in this post are from Unsplash.
This is NOT a sponsored post

ARC Review : Mooncakes, by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Mooncakes is a 2019 Graphic Novel written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu. Its release date is today, October 15th, which made it a perfect topic for this blogtober post !

Synopsis
mooncakes

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

What I liked
  • The art was really beautiful – I got this ARC from NetGalley so the last few pages weren’t in full color, but the rest of the book was, and it really made me appreciate the artist’s work ! The use of the colors in the story is captivating and helps understand a lot of details.
  • This is a very diverse book, but it never feels “forced” or badly done – the characters feel pretty authentic and it was easy to relate to them while reading, and understand their motivations.
What I didn’t like
  • I felt like it was lacking a bit in the plot department. For a book marketed towards Teens and YA, I was expecting a little more complexity in the intrigue. It stays enjoyable, of course, but feels a bit too simple for the themes it tries to talk about.
  • As you well know if you’ve read any of my posts about fantasy books, I love anything and everything magic. I would have liked to get to know more about the promising magic system that Mooncakes’s cover let me hope for, but it is mostly left unexplored through the course of the book, the author focusing more on the rest of her story than on explaining her world-building to the readers.
Conclusion

I’d give this book a solid 3 stars – not bad at all ! I overall enjoyed reading this and took my time to appreciate the art. I would maybe suggest it to an audience a little younget than the one currently reading YA, though, as the story itself isn’t one of the most complex there is.

Still, I’d definitely recommend this book if you have teenagers, or for something like the new acquisitions display of a school library !

My favorite comfort foods for fall

I pushed myself far out of my comfort zone today, and went to a kick-boxing class ! I haven’t done any real sport in a little more than 3 years, so, as expected, my whole body feels like overcooked spaghetti right now and I have trouble lifting the smallest things.

So, in the spirit of Blogtober, I thought I’d talk a little about one of the things I love the most in my life – up in my top 5 with books and comfy sweaters in the winter – food.

I’m a big fan of food – whether it’s a simple recipe, or something that takes 3 full hours to cook, if it tastes good, I love it. So I thought I’d share my 5 favorite comfort foods for fall !

  • Tomates farcies (“stuffed tomatoes”)

Here is a recipe in English – tomates farcies are big tomatoes, stuffed with a mix of meat, tomato, rice, bread crumbs and wine (and other things if you want to make it a fancy meal), roasted in the oven and served with a good serving of rice. They taste heavenly, and they smell like fall and Halloween to me.

this photo comes from the FOOD52 website (link above)
  • Macaroni and cheese

I discovered mac and cheese during my first fall semester in Canada, at a time when I felt pretty alone and lost in the world, and it was such a good comfort food that I almost only eat it in those circumstances. (also, cheese is life)

  • Roasted chicken and potatoes

That’s the typical Sunday meal in my family, and it’s associated with so many good moments in my life that the simple smell of cooked chicken and potatoes suffices to put me in a good mood.

  • Pancakes (covered in Nutella and bananas)

I’m extra weak :when I want pancakes, either I have the courage and time to make some at home, or… I go to Cora and order a pile of strawberry banana pancakes with an extra of chocolate sauce on the side.

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  • Cereal and milk

Breakfast food = comfort food. In fact, I think that’s what I’m going to have to do tomorrow morning : try to get out of bed early enough to go to the grocery store a few blocks from my house and buy milk to go with my cereal.

Then I’ll stay in bed and read, wrapped in my comfy blankets, and ignore my very sore muscles while I convince myself to go back to the gym next week.

Inside and out book tag

I’ve had a very productive day today : I applied to 5 job postings, had a business phone call for 20+ minutes and faced my mother for a full hour before running away and hiding in a Starbucks with my laptop and 2 grande coffee frappuchinos.

Which means : I’m feeling extra lazy tonight, haven’t done any grocery shopping, and am distracting myself with a book tag instead of writing my planned post for today. So here goes the Inside and out book tag !

I first saw it on Morgana’s blog (which is awesome, by the way).

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

I love reading what’s inside the flaps and on the back of the book before I buy/borrow something. If there isn’t enough information, I’ll probably open the Goodreads app and check the book info on it before deciding what to do – those summaries save me a lot of time and effort.

If it’s clearly something I do or don’t like, I’ll be able to make my decision way faster than if the back of the book is just a collection of compliments about it form various authors or newspapers – as good as a recommendation from the New York Times is, it doesn’t really tell me if the book I’m holding is right for me or not.

2. New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

Short answer : I love hardcovers.

Long (and honest) answer : I come from France, where the publishing industry just doesn’t do hardcovers – the very first hardcover I ever got was the cursed child screenplay book, because those shipped from the UK as soon as they were published and the french publishers didn’t wait until we had a paperback french version before selling the English hardcovers in the whole country. I’m pretty sure at least 50% of the fun I had reading it came from the novelty of having a hardcover book in my hands.

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I used to hate the very idea of writing in books, but now… not so much. I had a french teacher in high school that told the class to write as much as we wanted in our copies of the books we had to read for her class, and I remember feeling horrified at the moment, but I kind of see what she was trying to do now.

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I’ve taken to annotating them with sticky tabs I can then write on if I’m not 100% sure to keep the book forever, and just plainly writing on them if I’m planning to keep the book and just buy another copy if I want to lend it to someone else.

I try to write somewhat neatly, though, if only because I want to be able to re-read my annotations later and still be able to understand what I was thinking when I read that book.

4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

I have no idea why, it’s totally not a conscious decision, but most of the books I read in the past few years were written by women. Maybe it’s because reading something written by  woman gives me hope that someday I might be able to do the same ? I don’t know.

5. Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Never ! Although I do really appreciate trigger warnings in reviews and sometimes look for a review from a trusted blogger before I start reading.

6. Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

I used to have very organized bookshelves when I was in France and had all the space I wanted to put my books in a nice way. Right now, most of my books are in cardboard boxes in a storage unit, and I just have one shelf with the few I’ve been able to buy and keep with me during the past three years.

7. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Totally ! And I also borrow a lot of books based on the cover alone.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

Depending on the weather ! I live in Canada now, so I take my books outside during the summer, and keep them inside during the winter – no need for any snowflakes to fall and melt on the pages !

I don’t usually tag people, but if you haven’t done this tag yet and are looking for an excuse to do so : consider yourself tagged ! And don’t hesitate to tag me so I can go see your posts and check out your blog !

My reading habits

I’m always pretty curious of how other people read, and where/when they do so : do they read in their bed ? In the bus when they go to work in the morning ? I know my father’s been keeping a book in the pocket of his coat for some time now, just in case he gets stuck waiting in line for something, or has some free time and no additional work to do – but how do others read, and how does it compare to how I read ?

When I thought about making this post, my first idea was that I don’t read that much in my day, and to be honest, that thought didn’t make me feel good about myself. But I spent some more time thinking about it, and realized that wasn’t actually true. So here’s a short post about my own reading habits !

WHAT I read

First things first : in examining my daily habits, I actually realized that I read a lot of stuff throughout the day. Most of it, though, falls under one of four categories :

  • Books

I wish those made up most of my daily pages read, but they sadly don’t : books are expensive, and since I moved to a new city at the beginning of the semester, I haven’t found the time to make myself a new library account, so I can’t borrow any books for free yet. (It’s written as a task in my bullet journal, but I haven’t been able to do it yet – I’m hoping to find some time for that this week though !)

  • Fanfiction

Maybe one third of my daily pages read. It’s easy to read, I can access it on my phone whenever I want, and it doesn’t take as much effort as a brand new book since I already know the characters and the world they evolve in. I usually select fanfictions only over 15k words, so I’m sure to have enough to read for the whole ride home after my last class of the day.

  • Blog posts

I love blog posts. I usually open a bunch of those on my laptop whenever I open WordPress, and bookmark tweets and posts that sound interesting in order to come back to it later during the day.

  • Class reading material

I have so much class reading material in a week, it’s terrible. I’m currently taking 5 psychology classes, and each of those gives me at least two documents every week, of between 10 and 20 pages each – that’s at least 100 pages of academic reading material every week ! And that doesn’t include chapters from the class book, and optional readings (which I sometimes try to do, when by some miracle I get to have some extra time to do so).

I had some extra time on my hands while writing this, so I made a pie chart to illustrate this post :

meta-chart(1)
This is way too simple for me to be this proud of it, but I like it, so. Here it is.

WHERE I read

With physical books, it’s usually at home, in my bed before going to sleep or in a comfy chair when I’m taking a day off and having some time for myself. I read eBooks and fanfictions on the move (since I live in a big city now, I usually spend at least an hour a day in commute, sometimes up to two and a half hours) and blogs on my laptop after dinner or in the afternoon when I have some time to relax between classes.

HOW I read

I actually own an e-reader, but I haven’t used it in a couple f years – I bought it in France in 2012, so it’s a bit old and probably needs a ton of updates before I can get it to work well again, but I haven’t had the heart to get rid of it. I mostly read eBooks on my phone now, as well as fanfiction.

I mainly use my laptop for blog articles, but I prefer to print my class reading material before reading and annotating it : it’s so difficult to annotate a PDF on my laptop, it’s not worth the effort. And, of course, I love having access to actual physical copies of books, especially hardcovers !

What about you – how do you read, and when ? Do you have any unexpected reading habits ? Feel free to comment about it !