Tiffany Gainer uses her free time to relax and get away from thedaily grind of attending classes and working part-time. A senior atHoward University, she spends anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a weekdoing work outside of classes for school.
“Because I’m only taking four courses I needto graduate, I don’t spend as much time as I used to doing classwork during my own time,” Gainer says. “For pleasure, I read onaverage between 7 and 10 hours per week.”
Gainer says she feels that she reads more thanthe average college student based on how often her friends read.”My friends read, but not as much as I do,” she says.
With all of the time students spend in classor at jobs, free time is a valuable commodity, students say. Withtelevision, Internet and other activities students use to occupytheir time reading for pleasure is often not a priority.
“I don’t have time to read,” says BrianJohnson, a senior English major at Howard University. He playsfootball for the school and says that while he used to enjoyreading, the pressure of school and the amount of time academicsand sports consumes has made reading for pleasure something hedoesn’t even think about anymore.
For students who do read, there is a widerange of materials from which to chose. Gainer says she picks upmagazines in the grocery store and visits a bookstore about once aweek. “I read novels, magazines, newspapers. It relaxes me, itenlightens me, and I enjoy it,” she says.
“I read black-authored fictions,autobiographies of African Americans, Malcolm X, Diana Ross,Natalie Cole…”
Besides reading, she also watches television,talks on the phone, dates and goes out with friends.
Chauna Bryant, a senior broadcast journalismmajor at Howard University, says she reads so much for school thatshe would rather spend her free time other ways.
“I occasionally read, but usually only when Iget a recommendation for a book from friends,” Bryant says. “Ithink with my life getting more and more hectic, reading would be agood escape, but it’s not always the first thing I think of to dowith my spare time.”
Gainer says she thinks reading is such a partof her life because her parents encouraged it. “It’s a childhoodpastime that I stuck with.”