The Last Hurrah

silver linings discussionHey y'all!So, as you may know if you've been following my Instagram, I've been trying to read a book a day in July.First of all, the end of senior year was much more overwhelming than I'd anticipated, so I ended up barely reading in the spring. Pair that with my slump around February, and my total book count is way lower than it normally is at this point in the year. Sure, most people might not be alarmed not to have read a hundred books by this point in the year...but I am.It's a weird feeling, admittedly.Normally, I'd shrug it off and say I'd read a lot in the fall (because I do.) Summer and fall are my good seasons; spring is often busiest for me.But this fall? No way.I head to college around mid-August. First, I go to Chapel Hill and Charlottesville to drop off my sister and brother, respectively. I'll spend a week at UVA and then head to Lexington, where I'll move into Washington and Lee University. (Go Generals!) I spend a week hiking and then we have orientation and then I'm sure the next few months will be a whirlwind of settling in, learning how to live on my own, being forced to be social (!!!), and getting involved. If college is anything like high school, I'll soon have a dozen activities that occupy my weekdays.I haven't decided yet whether or not I'm going to go on hiatus for a month or so while I get used to university life.On one hand, I should leap at the chance to use my downtime to assimilate. I'm sure it'll definitely take some time to get a feel for a new routine - laundry, run, study, grocery??? - and start to work my way around Lexington. I definitely want to try out some new activities and whatnot.One of the perks of being in the Blue Ridge Mountains is that there's gorgeous scenery. The hiking is apparently fantastic, and W&L's Outing Club is truly spectacular. So I'm pretty pumped to spend my weekends exploring. A lot of the clubs also supposedly have fun activities, and I'm lucky enough to go into college knowing some people that I'm excited to see on a daily basis. I'm sure it'll be a lot of getting-to-know-you. Plus, it'll be wonderful to pop over to UVA and see my brother on occasion. Living in a new place is going to be such an adventure! There will be so many new things to do (especially before I inevitably bury myself in work!)My parents have forbidden me from getting a job first semester (they say they want me to figure out how busy I'll be first, and enjoy my first months at school) which is actually SUCH a luxury. Still, it's a bit strange because working as a bookseller would be the #1 way I would think to still be involved in the book industry while I'm figuring out some of the more personal aspects of being in college. So without that, what do I do?Start a book club? Have really wonderful conversations with literature professors? Find chatty peers who want to analyze the latest trends in YA?I've had some W&L kids reach out to me and ask if I'd be interested in starting a book club (answer: yes) but I think I have to get used to actually being AT W&L before I take the leap in starting something independent. Like, I only started the YA book club at Inkwood and the classics  book club at Oxford Exchange during my junior year, and it was helpful to already have a grasp for how those individual places ran and operated within Tampa and my schedule.So I think if there's a niche for that freshman year, I'll definitely take up the responsibility; however, I'll have to ease into it. With so much new independence, I have to take care of myself first.So what does that mean for my reading time?I had a difficult time even fitting books into my senior year schedule. With 7 APs, 6 clubs, and a varsity sport, I was juggling all the aspects of my "real" life with all that of my book world - editing, blogging, reading. I was lucky if I'd finish a book a week (weird, right?)I'm a bit scared that the same will happen in college. Here are a few of my paranoid fears:I know I'll have more readings to do for school. At Plant, if we paid attention in class, the textbook was more of a supplement that we would occasionally reference for worksheets. But I know college is a lot more demanding, reading-wise. (For the record, I'm really excited to be exposed to more books about subjects that interest me - English, philosophy, history? I don't even know which books to begin with, so it'll be great to have some structure in that regard.)Plus, I read a lot when I stay in on weekend nights. In Tampa, I'm not often motivated to really go out and be social. I'd really rather curl up in my bathtub or in my cozy bed and read the next ten chapters of whatever eat-em-up thriller I have in my hands. I love talking to people and I adore all my friends, but I'm even comfortable enough with them to bring a book if we're just hanging out and watching a movie. Pretty sure there are no new jokes they can throw my way, although they always tease me mercilessly about it anyways. Anyhow, when will I find time to read if I'm actively trying new things and meeting new people on the weekends?!I will not have enough books. This fear requires some context. I have wall-to-wall shelves in my room, and often have piles stacked on the floor. I easily have over a thousand titles in my room. Growing up in a family of readers, we also have various shelves around the house that contain plenty of titles I'd love to pick up. There's a lot of storage for said books. In an 11 x 14" dorm room, how will I find the space to put all my books? I'd like to have some open air. In the same vein, how can I bring the two hundred books I want to bring with me to school?!Luckily, I did persuade my ma to let me bring a bookshelf that I bought from Target for $20 (baby's first bookshelf!) and I'm honestly debating shipping a crate of books up to Virginia to wait for me so that my parents don't realize how many books I'm actually planning on having with me...Even if I can't read them, I like to know that I have a spectrum of titles that I can choose from, if the mood strikes. I came home from ALA Annual with a sizable stack of fall releases that I cannot WAIT to dig into - and I've gotten a few in the mail lately! On top of those, I have the old favorites that I love and want to bring with me for comfort.But I don't know if I'll have time to read! One of my biggest pet peeves is when people are like you're so lucky you have time to read and I say I just make it a priority (see: this post) but I'm a bit concerned that I'll be overwhelmed with everything else.I'm trying to reassure myself with the fact that I read 3-6 pages per minute (unbelievable but true!) and that I'm exaggerating a bit. I don't always read at night, and I can find time for a good book if I really make it a priority.So I'm trying to read as much as I can this summer.I call it "The Last Hurrah." If I feel like reading a book, I pick it up. I've had two-book and three-book days. I've read a book a day in July, and I fully plan on keeping it up before my eleven-year-olds at camp run me into the ground. Love 'em, but they definitely keep me active (and not curled up with a book.)

How do y'all find reading time?