Reading at NYU Shanghai

More than half of NYU Shanghai surveyed said that schoolwork does not allow them time to read for fun.

Many students will agree and complain that the workload at NYU Shanghai does not leave enough free time for leisure reading – all they want to do after a long day is get back to the dorms or their apartments, lay on their bed and watch a TV show or scroll endlessly through their feeds on their phones, too tired to grab a book and pay full attention to the process of reading.

In a survey of NYU Shanghai students, 80% of the students surveyed agreed that they enjoy reading. More than half of the students surveyed states that schoolwork will not allow them time to read for fun, while still leaving a considerate number of students who’ll find that school work will not restrain them from reading for their own pleasure. Students have read an average of two to three books during the Fall semester of 2016. Answers varied from no books read at all to as much as eight books, and different online materials in snippets.

When asked about borrowing books from the library, only 10% declared that they usually borrow books there, with 40% saying that they sometimes do so, and 50% declaring that they do not borrow books from the library. “The NYUSH library has a selection of leisure books in both Chinese and English,” Caitlin MacKenzie Mannion, Reference and Instruction Librarian, said. “The selection of the book titles are made by the librarians. For the English-language collection, there are around 50 titles per semester, to include a diverse variety that would reflect on the whole NYU Shanghai community. Some of the books are also drawn from the New York Times bestsellers list, and other literary works from literary awards winners. Most of the purchases made for the English-language book titles were released less than 18 months ago.”

The Library’s WeChat account and their Goodreads profile shows their new releases, as well as the Literary Reading Series organized by the Writing Department at NYU Shanghai.

Mannion also informed OCA that the leisure book collection is now positioned in the back corner of the library, facing Century Avenue. This corner will in the near future be transformed into a reading area with outlets and comfortable chairs for students to read for fun.

Students can also find interesting books in the student lounges on almost every floor, varying from non-fiction to fiction, educational and academic books, and even cook books, which can be picked up on the go or when taking a break from regular studying.

Between homework and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time to curl up with a good book. But when that time comes, try out one of these great books recommended by the NYU Shanghai community:  

  • “The Martian” by Andy Weir
  • “Armada and Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline
  • “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo
  • “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • “The Handmaidens Tale” By Margret Atwood
  • “Running in the Family” by Michael Ondaatje
  • “Sprint: How to solve big problems and test the new ideas in five days” by Jake Knapp
  • “A Year in Provence” by Peter Maybe
  • “The Fatal Shore” by A-Cheng
  • “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison
  • “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie
  • “The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

This article was written by Anisa Muca. Please send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

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