How to get through a boring book for English class

We've all been there. Your phone is blowing up (Harry Styles did what to Chris Pine?!) and the last thing you want to do is slog through another 50 pages of a book in Old English.

It's tempting to SparkNote your way through the unit, but stay strong! Spoiler alert: It *always* pays off to read the book. Not only will you have a lot more knowledge by the end, but the little details are usually crucial to your understanding of the text as a whole (and to acing those reading quizzes).

Here's your guide to staying engaged while reading even the most complicated titles (looking at you Macbeth). And don't worry— we won't make you write an essay about this list.

1. Make annotations


When a book feels incomprehensible—or just straight-up boring—try annotation. Annotation is basically just adding your thoughts and insights about what you're reading in the margins. This forces you to read critically (AKA not just letting your eyes drift over words and hoping that you'll magically retain the information). 

Unless the annotation is due for class, feel free to get creative! If you own the book, try doodling or writing little jokes about the story. Thinking about the text doesn't have to be boring.

2. Reward yourself


Rewards are a great (and fun) way to trick your brain into reading. When you finish your 20-minute timer or the next chapter, rest your eyes, grab a yummy snack or text a friend.

Don't feel guilty about taking a break every once in a while. After a period of intense focus, it's totally OK reset and refresh. And who knows, the promise of a sweet treat or brief scroll on TikTok at the end might be all you need to power through the rest of your pages.

3. Try new mediums


If reading books really aren't your thing, try audiobooks. Most classics have free audio copies of the book on YouTube or Spotify. You can even listen as you drive to school, do the dishes or clean your room. 

If you love studying with friends, try reading out loud with a partner. That way, you can ask each other questions about the plot, motifs and themes. As long as you stay on-topic and actually read the book, it can be a great way to bond with your bestie and gain a greater understanding of the novel.

4. Find a quiet place


Fact: Most people tend to focus better in peaceful environments. Why? Because a quiet spot helps us devote our brain to analyzing the book instead of the busy world around us. We recommend your local public library, a park, a college campus or even an art museum.

Happy reading!

Want more school tips? Check out the articles below!
💖 Study hacks to end procrastination
💖 A guide to bullet journaling
💖 School supplies to upgrade your note-taking skills

What's your favorite book you've read in English class? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

GIF via Giphy | Slider image @little.booktique via Instagram


by Charlotte Ury | 10/5/2022