How do you make time to read for the fun of it?
Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.
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But, I also like non-academic reading.
My only problem is that I spend my whole day reading "other" work, and that by the time I get home, I don't want to read anymore. I have followed some of the previous threads from English Literature M.A. grads and their enormous reading lists, but in my mind they still cover some ground of "fun reading" by the proportion of fiction involved. Sure the criticisms and analyses are really tough to follow and are written in the usual academic tone, but still.
I'm basically asking how everyone that loves reading (either fiction/non-fiction) fits "reading as a hobby" into their "reading for a degree" schedule? Or maybe I'm the only person with this problem :-)
seriously, though? i use leisure reading as a reward for myself - finish this lecture, get to read for 30 minutes or an hour. finish reading some god-awful dense 80 pages of theory? spend an hour with a good book.
of course, i get a lot more leisure reading done in the off-time of summer than during the regular school year. right now i'm finishing a few (leisure) books a week, whereas when everything's in full swing, i'm lucky to finish a good novel once a month. the things we do for an education, eh?
At the moment, the problem is finding books in English... reading in Chinese is too taxing after 20 minutes.
When you are reading 4+ books per week for class already, and then doing the reading for the class you're teaching on top of it, I've found that you (or I, rather) burn out very fast.
My solution has been to find things that are very different from what I do all day. Much as I'd love to read more feminist theory or literary analysis, I have to steer myself over to my more rarely addressed interests like popular science, history of areas that I don't study for school (I admit to being a vietnam war junkie for example), contemporary novels, and most importantly things that are written for an average audience rather than for an academic audience. I admit to a Vogue subscription for mental health purposes too. :)
As for finding time, I just have to put my foot down and make the time. I also purposely moved to an area where I can commute by bus, which is 45 mins each way but gives me the wonderful opportunity to budget in 1.5 hours of reading time per day if I want it. It's good to trap yourself where you have few other options.
This doesn't mean I get to read every day, particularly right now when I'm taking two, six week summer classes at once. The only reason I have the time to be doing this right now is that I have an assignment on social networking sites for my intellectual freedom seminar. But sometimes I am down to readings and assignments that require the use of a computer, and that's when I get to read for fun whenever I'm somewhere without my computer.
Also, because my schedule is pretty flexible (commuting to class two days a week, sometimes only one when one of them is meeting online), I manage to get to the gym several times a week, and then I read for fun on the exercise bike. Textbooks tend to be too big for it to be practical to read for class there.
I get around it by reading a lot of magazines--mostly the New Yorker--and newspapers. That way I'm reading things that aren't for my work, but are good for short attention spans.
18learneronajourney Primeira Mensagem
I always keep a fun book or magazine or two in the bathroom and read a page or two while on the toilet. :)
I go on reading binges: I factor in a day or 2 off and read as many books then as I can.
I also read while I work, standing behind a busy bar is no good for intellectual reading (I have tried) but novels can vanish and you rarely remember them 2 weeks later so you can start again.
As a graduate, I should be 'adult' about some things. When i was in university and even secondary school, i used to read 2-4 books a day. Now with work, studies, plans for world domination, sleep,....if i can get in one a week i'm blessed!
I am a straight A student and I always do everything earlier than is really needed (I am an anxious student), so I talk a big game about avoiding studies, but I don't really do it all that often. If I read at all outside of school work it is the few minutes that I get in before I fall asleep at night or the audio books that I have on my iPod.
I can't really complain - I read a lot for my (paid) work, and a lot of the writing on my thesis topic is actually not that hard going. And unlike a lot of graduates seem to do here, I don't have to do seminars/coursework, which means I just have to have the discipline to write my thesis ...
And watched much more movies ;-)
Some of us will never grow up.
I must say that since joining this site, I've been much more inspired to take time to read for fun and not just schoolwork.
I try to put in an hour of reading before going to bed.
I spent a huge chunk of last year doing really tedious labwork for 7 days a week, 7-9 hours a day. That plus everyday life stuff didn't leave a whole lot of time for sitting down with a paperback, but I could get through an audiobook every day or two. I wound up reading more last year than I ever have before in my life. Thank god for my iPod and my wonderful, wonderful public library.
If I'm not completely swamped, I'll do pleasure reading while eating or in the fifteen minutes before class starts.
As for when to read, I embrace my antisocial graduate student tendencies and read during lunch.
No matter how busy one is, no matter how many responsibilities they have, if they aren't taking twenty minutes out of their day to do something important to their personal development, the other areas of their life which seem so important will suffer.
Oh, and don't rule out audiobooks. Almost half of the books I read in a year are during my commutes to grad school and work. Check your local library.
I read in the little spaces of the day: over meals (if solo), in the bathroom, before bed, before naps, and on the commute.
One trend I've noticed, though: I've leaned away from fiction and more toward non-fiction in my personal reading: memoirs, how-to, essays, self-help, theory. Except for poetry I've all but abandoned the sustained narrative form...
I suppose I'm temporarily dispossessed of that certain willingness to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy fiction. Well it happens when I'm bored or depressed... but right now I think I'm just super busy!
I'm reading A Very Long Engagement right now (in English) and the fact that it is entirely different from the Audrey Tatou movie makes me even more excited to read the next few pages once my head's hit my pillow.
Since posting the original question, I started reading over breakfast in the local campus restaurant. I figured, it takes them at least 15 minutes in total to prepare food and arrange the bill, and nothing stops me from reading an additional 15 minutes or so after eating, giving me a total of at least half an hour a day to read. This has quickly become the time I look forward to the most every day!
Granted, it's not always possible (I don't always eat alone, which is probably a good thing), but in the past five months I've managed to read through Man's Search for Meaning, The life of Pi, The God of Small Things, Of Mice and Men, American Gods and The Catcher in the Rye - 15 to 30 pages at a time. I started with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas today... quite weird (but interesting) to read about drug-induced hallucinations over breakfast :-)
Anyway, just thought I'd give an update. Feel free to keep on sharing your thoughts!
Since I started work for a newspaper, where my days are filled with work, I only get to read at night. And on the commute and during long waits for Something To Happen. Also on weekdays, when I tend to be a vegetable. When I'm stressed out by work, I go somewhere quiet, like a cafe, and read. But that usually happens at night. Yes, I know, I got no social life.
43dinasemrys Primeira Mensagem
But I'm also trying very hard to keep my life balanced and not let grad school completely take over (I'm taking noncredit Arabic next semester, to that end). Fortunately, my advisor supports this. :-)
This semester I was only able to read two "fun" books, both over Thanksgiving, when I got a couple of days off. Now I need to find some balance between catching up and preparing for some research projects that should get underway in January.
PS -- I'm teaching in a community college with at 5/4/3 teaching load while going to school 1/2time (6 hours per semester) in a PhD program in which professors enjoy assigning 1000+ pages of reading per week. The worse the schedule, the more I HAVE to get in some light reading.
I wish! Now, I force myself to take a day off once a week to get any reading done. Quantitative Techniques by T Lucey or The Icarus Girl are presently on my list. Mrs. Dalloway is next.
First time through I read that as "doctoral cramps".