So, in the spirit of the New Year and in a rich food/family coma, I made some silly resolve to read more books outside of my coursework this year. Having survived my first week of classes by the skin of my teeth (by the way, that imagery is just plain creepy when you think about it), I’m thinking that I will have to post on coursework reading after all because I have no time…yet. Eventually my schedule will settle into a routine (I hope!) and things will even out, but until then, I just have to hold on tight because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
In general, I like my courses (and I’m really excited about one of my seminars), and the research should be fun (and if not fun, at least informative). But between my part-time job; working out on a regular basis; the countless reading group and writing group meetings; as well as another research job I’m working on for one of my profs–I’m tired. This weekend promises to be full of books, however, as I scramble to get a jump start on my research projects (which are hazy, but coming together), and fill in some gaps. I do think it’s time, however, to start minutely scheduling my time. Here are the books/plays/articles I need to read this weekend:
- The Rise of Silas Lapham ~ William Dean Howells (265 pages left to read)
- The Man of Mode, or, Sir Fopling Flutter ~ George Etherege (~167 pages)
- an article by Lisa Berglund (23 pages)
- a friend’s dissertation prospectus (40 pages)
- the rest of The Diary of Anne Frank (~150 pages)
So that’s a total of 645 pages. That’s actually not too bad for a weekend of reading. If I give myself 3 days to finish all of this, that’s a total of 215 pages a day (again, not bad, this is looking up actually). Sometimes I parse things out on an individual level so that I read a little of each thing every day. It gives me smaller daily goals and prevents me from feeling overwhelmed and zoning out in the middle of one book to think about how much I have to read in the next one. So if I read about 56 pages of The Man of Mode a day, I’ll finish it by Monday evening, etc… Finishing on Monday then gives me time to re-skim, write up/condense my notes, and create summary pages of everything in time for class on Wednesday.
There are a number of books I would like to get to this weekend as well. I’ve started Dostoevsky’s Demons, and I’m loving it. My only other experience with Dostoevsky was from my first year in college, when we read Crime and Punishment. I did not enjoy it, and it’s definitely time to give it another go. I’ve been surprised by how much humor I’m finding in Demons thus far. And then there’s People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks, which I can’t wait to start. I would love to read Henry James’s novella, Daisy Miller (there’s a reference to it in The Rise of Silas Lapham) and get a head start on Abraham Cahan’s Yekl, and the Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto. Oh, and the library just informed me that a copy of The Seashell on the Mountaintop just arrived. So many books, and so little time… But I’m hoping to start give mid-point reading updates. For some reason I have it in my head that I can’t share my impressions about a book until I’ve finished it, but by the time that happens, I’m too tired to write anything up. So bear with me…