*this post includes affiliate links I have with Amazon*
Hello everyone! So, this month is August and, like millions of people around the world, I’m headed back to school! With going back to school (specifically, university for me) comes buying textbooks, figuring out which books to bring from home, making plans for posts to write and trying to figure out how and when I can read. I’ve been dealing with all that for years now and, along the way, have picked up a few bookish tips and tricks that I thought I’d finally share! Let’s get into it…
Places To Buy Textbooks
For all my fellow uni students, textbooks can be a pain in the butt: they can be ridiculously expensive or ridiculously cheap depending on your major, classes, the edition you can get (newest vs old?) and, especially, on where you get them from. Luckily, I’ve found a bunch of options for you to get your books at, regardless of where you are and what book you need; at least one of these websites should have it and, some, for really cheap…..
- Barnes & Noble
- Bookholders (fave!!!) – bookholders.com gets a call out from me because this is probably my favourite US bookstore ever! It’s an online shop where you can find textbooks and fiction & non-fiction books for some ridiculously cheap prices. Seriously, I got 60 (!!!!) fiction books for a total of $15 this past spring, it was awesome! And I’ve gotten most of my books for my classes (both electives and requirements for my major) for really low prices, even compared to Amazon. Honestly, I’m not sponsored by BH nor do I work for them, but I shout about them to pretty much anyone I can….I love them!!!!
- Book Depository
- Abe Books
- Half-Price Books
- Harvard Business Publishing (if your class uses case studies)
[Related: How To Read Free Books LEGALLY!]
What Books Should You Bring To School
Whenever I go back to school, one of the things that takes a little bit longer to figure out is what books I am bringing and I know it can be a struggle for many of my other friends, especially those going to a school that isn’t 10 mins away from their parent’s house with the rest of their books. For me, when I figure out what books to bring to uni, I always take into account how many ARCs I need to read and review, and I always bring both ARCs and finished copies that fit within my different genre faves ie. several crime & mystery books, a couple contemporaries, several fantasies, a few sci-fi etc. This way, regardless of what bookish mood I’m in, there should be several options for me to choose from.
Something else that helps me decide if I want to bring a book is whether or not the author is going on tour by me, like Leigh Bardugo last year or Deborah E Harkness this year. I brought almost all the Bardugo books I had so I could hopefully get them signed if I went to her event (I did and you can read my event recap here!) This time, there’s a possibility I might ISA see Deborah E Harness on tour so, since I already want to read and review it, I’m bringing just the ARC of her new book to sign!
Lastly, I try not to bring any books that I can also get as e-books from the library via Overdrive. For those of you who don’t know, Overdrive is an online website that connects to most libraries (in the US and out) and allows you to access whatever ebooks and audiobooks your physical library might offer! You can sign up with your library card, via Facebook or in general (email and password). I found out about it last year and it’s been a lifesaver because it’s always helpful to not need to physically bring 10 books in a series that I may or may not read/continue all the way, and instead just read them as ebooks if I’m in the mood.
How To Find Time To Read
Another major thing that happens when you get back to school (regardless of age) is trying to figure out when you can read. Hopefully, the following list of times/moments can help you out….
- When you’re eating – pretty much everytime I’m eating and don’t have to work on something, I’m reading a book
- Right before class – I always get to class early so I can claim my seat and read until the professor starts talking
- On the bus – though be careful of your surroundings and watch for your stop!
- While working out – if you’re at the gym, doing something in one place – ie exercise bike or elliptical – you can totally pop up a book in front of you and read! If that’s not comfortable or unavailable, then you can also listen to audiobooks (like on Audible or from Overdrive)!
- As a study incentive – instead of an hour of tv or youtube, read a book after you’ve studied as a way to wind down! Just remember to put a timer for yourself or tell a friend to remind you when time is up, so you don’t let time get away from you!
- Before bed – now, I don’t fully recommend this because, at least for me, I will read for hours after I should’ve already slept but reading before you go to sleep can also be another way to fit some time in for you and your book!
TBH, the main way to keep reading while at school is to steal the little pockets of time you have to read. Even if it’s a couple of minutes, you still have time to read for a bit. Also, I would like to take a second to remind you that you don’t have to read a book in a day or every day to still be considered a reader. There is no room for guilt when reading (or not reading). Books should make you happy and feel good so please don’t feel guilty if you don’t read. I say this only because I’ve felt this way and had so many other people say the same and it’s disheartening, so yeah, thought I’d just remind you it’s also ok not to read.
Other Random Tips & Tricks
- those bursts of time and motivation that you have are amazing and can be lifesavers and such good ways to just write as many posts as you can (even if you only write pieces or half of a post, you’ve still done a lot!) and then schedule them out, especially during exam weeks or any other day/week you know you’ll be busy
- book tours can be your best friend or worst enemy because they are necessary deadlines for you to create posts but, if you take part in a ton, you can also get very overwhelmed. I’ve ended up doing both and, ngl, it gets really overwhelming to have a bunch of book tour posts to do in between studying for exams and doing homework. But, when I’ve planned them out well (tbh I only do 2 – 3 a semester), they’ve been lifesavers for my stats lol
- if you’re feeling creatively burned out but very motivated and don’t know what to write about, look for holidays and seasons to help you out! For example, August is usually when most students go back to school so I thought I’d make a back-to-school type of post (aka this one!). In October, it’s Halloween month so you can write a post about spooky reads or something!
And that’s really all the advice & tips I have! If I think of any more tips, I’ll update the post so make sure you check back, just in case, or follow my Twitter because I’ll definitely announce it there! In the meantime, what did you think of the post? Is there anything I didn’t cover that you want me to add, or anything you want me to elaborate on? Let me know in the comments below!! In any case, I hope this post helped you ❤ thanks, have a great day/night and tata for now!
*this post includes affiliate links I have with Amazon 😀