So I have noticed that there is a major difference between graduate studies and undergraduate studies, at least in the geosciences. Undergrad work tends to be homework, math, labs, and small projects. Mostly busy work and text books. Since starting at UVic in September I have read! I am a big reader anyways, and 200 pages a week is not uncommon. Of which about 40% is pleasure like novels or scientific, 40% is purely technical for my own research, and 20% is spiritual, self help, excercise and health related. The last few months I have been reading about 500-1000 pages a week. The percentages and categories are quite different as well.
The main point is that graduate studies are loaded with readings in your field area, writing in your subject of interest, with many 5-25 page papers on different challenging subjects, and lastly lots of presentations on difficult subject matter. It is quite different, and is completly opposite from my undergraduate experience. I really like this aspect of my Graduate studies. I love being in a quiet corridor of a crowded library with a stack of dusty books at my feet, or up in the 4th floor petrology lab overlooking the fall colors, finding resources for my many projects. The funny thing is that when I am burned out of reading stuff on subducting slabs and Arc Magmas, and copper partitioning coefficients in amphibols etc, I relax by reading. I read mainly novels though, and have recently read Angels and Demons by Dan Brown last weekend (I had been meaning to get around to it for several years now). When I am burned out of looking at figures, data, and doing various projects and presentations, I relax by doing my own research on my own research areas (ore deposits and mineral exploration). So really when I am not reading or studying, I relax by reading or studying something else. Pretty nerdy. I do look forward to next semester when I really get to start doing some serious experimental petrology. I am anxious to start the hands on portion of my research, and then I get to play with the resulting data.