"I'm taking a year from acting to focus on two things, really," she told Paper magazine during a chat with author and feminist Bell Hooks.
"My own personal development is one," she continued. "My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I'm doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own."
The Harry Potter star, 25, revealed that she considered enrolling in a gender studies class, but decided to rely on her own real-life experiences to further her knowledge instead.
"I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies," she explained. "Then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading."
"I actually wanted to keep on the path that I'm on," she added. "I'm reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening."
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During her time off, she will also continue to focus on her numerous feminist-led projects.
The Brown University alum became a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, where she launched the HeForShe campaign, focusing on motivating men and boys to push to end gender inequality. Earlier this year, she also announced that she was starting her own feminist book club: Our Shared Self.
"I'm on my journey with this and it might change, but I can tell you that what is really liberating and empowering me through being involved in feminism is that so much of the self-critiquing is gone," she said.
Before taking her break, Watson will appear alongside Star Wars actor John Boyega in The Circle, and as Belle in Disney's live-action production of Beauty and the Beast.