Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Disciplined Reading: A good idea? or, O Brothers, thou art elusive.

My days of being an English major were amazing: it was my job to read, to write about my reading, to talk about my reading...essentially my perfect life. The incredible thing that I see in my 1999-2003 self, though, was ability to be a disciplined reader. I had 3-4 classes at a time, each with 8-16 novels to read in a semester. I was also addicted to my planner in those days and may have had to take a sabbatical for wearing a watch (this is pre-cell phone, people). I made reading plans in advance so I could write more than one draft of my papers and check everything off my list. However, this is beginning to sound sick, even to me. My last two sentences were rising action, you'd know that eventually all that planning and discipline would eventually blow up in my face. I would still say that the word moderation would describe many aspects of my life, but the thought of creating lists of things that I "should" do every day feels more like a prison and less like a way to success.

So. My latest confession is that I am currently a book club failure! My book club (well, partnership, as there are only two of us) bravely decided to follow up Anna Karenina with The Brothers Karamazov. We were pumped about Russian literature! We wanted to broaden our horizons!

However, all I found myself doing was avoiding that brick of a book. First I told myself that I needed extended periods of time to read it: Brothers was not a book one could pick up for 20 minutes before falling asleep. So I started a different book for night time reading. Then I told myself that it's good for my brain to play solitaire on my ipod on the subway. It helps prevent Alzheimers. I swore I'd read it on the planes to and from California, (and I did for one of my 6 legs) but I had tv on my ipod and sleeping to do. I promised myself on the bus ride to DC I would read...but seriously, have you ever tried to be productive around 30 13 year olds?

Clearly, it's not looking good. There's a chance that I have read Persepolis, Before You Know Kindness, Tales of Beedle the Bard and I Was Told There'd Be Cake (more to come on these) all while trying to read Brothers.

But I'm going to try to change my ways. I've already abandoned a book this school year! I've decided maybe it would be good to practice a little discipline, to make a reading plan, to check off my boxes! I'll keep you posted.

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