The two reading days comprise the University's response to student requests for "break days" within the fall semester. Given a variety of factors (e.g., Ohio Board of Regents regulations, college accreditation requirements, existing fall term holidays, etc.) it was just not practical or conducive to student learning for UC to remove two additional days fully from the fall academic calendar. And so, the reading days were introduced beginning Fall Semester 2013 as a means for UC to be responsive to student governance input while allowing UC to meet its primary responsibility to students ---- which is to provide a quality educational experience.
The reading days are not intended to be full "break days" such as you will enjoy next semester during Spring Break. The reading days are not required to be or intended to be devoid of all academic activity for all students by default. On Reading Days, UC will not hold its "standard" classes. Those structured class meetings will not take place. Yet the colleges / departments can and may require your attendance at or participation in co-curricular activities such as recitals, internships, clinicals, co-op, travel study, etc. Not all colleges, departments, or classes will require such co-curricular activity. Doing so is at their discretion. If your college does not require your attendance or participation in these activities, then you are encouraged to use the "classes-free" days to read ahead in your classes, to study for upcoming exams or work on class projects.