Front Range’s Boulder County Campus has an All-Campus Reads program, this year with a “local” choice — “Fig” by adjunct instructor of creative writing Sarah Schantz. It’s a great choice because the book, Sarah’s debut novel, won the 2016 Colorado Book Award (Young Adult category). The book also was named by National Public Radio as a Best Book of 2015.

If you’re a student and your college has an all-college reads program, you might think: Great. More reading.

Sure, it can be difficult to find the time to read when you’re a busy college student—but you should try! Reading for enjoyment is a wonderful way to de-stress and take a break from school work and other responsibilities, and it has many other benefits, including mental stimulation and improved memory and vocabulary. How can you make reading a part of your daily routine? Here are a few tips.

Try audio books.

If you’re in the car a lot or want to listen to books while cleaning, audio books are an excellent option—and you’re not limited to audio CDs anymore. Check out Audible, which allows you to download an app to your smartphone, computer, tablet, or other device and buy and sync audio books through Amazon. It’s a great way to transform unproductive time into reading time.

Read on your tablet or phone.

E-books are another ideal way to make reading convenient. You can download the Kindle or Nook reading apps on all of your devices and sync all e-books that you purchase. That way, you can always find time to read during the day’s many inevitable waiting periods—when you have time to kill in between classes or have to wait in line at the grocery store, for example.

Read on the bus (or train).

Public transportation riders will agree that time on the bus or train feels like wasted time, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep your book in your backpack at all times, or read on your tablet or smartphone. You’ll find that the time passes faster and you might even look forward to your commute each day.

Find five minutes.

Everyone has five minutes, right? When all else fails, try to find just a few minutes in your day to read. Make it a part of your nighttime routine. Read while you eat breakfast or lunch. Get out your book when you hop on the stationary bike or elliptical trainer at the gym. Look for the windows of opportunity throughout your day to read for five minutes at a time, and remind yourself that a few minutes of reading is better than none! In time, you’ll find that the more you read, the more you’ll get into your book and the more you will prioritize reading in your life.

Books can inspire, excite, and change your life. The hectic pace of college life can make it hard to find time for reading, but you absolutely can—with a little effort. And remember: you’ll never regret time spent reading like you might regret time spent surfing the internet or watching TV. Pick up a book, grab a blanket, and go enjoy some relaxation and rejuvenation time!

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