About those reading resolutions….

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:

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…


10 responses to this post.

  1. What on earth is Sir Fopling Flutter? You;ll have to enlighten us.

    And go you for starting to think about your projects already! Keep up the little bits of progress and you won’t have a mountain to climb at the end!


    (who wishes she could just sit around and read books instead of her own execrable prose all the time.)


  2. Sisyphus: It’s funny, but I didn’t even notice the subtitle until I checked the biblio at the beginning of our reader. I am quite looking forward to finding out what in hell’s bells a “Fopling Flutter” is! And I figure I have to get a head start–I usually go through something like 2 or 3 topics before I finally settle back on the first one. Highly unproductive, but I’m trying to convince myself that leaving everything to the last minute–while exciting (hah!)–is not really the best thing for me (or anyone around me) to have to endure. Good luck with your diss writing! 🙂


  3. That’s a lot of reading. Better drink some carrot juice for your eyes! 🙂


  4. LK: At least I have vision insurance now! 🙂


  5. 645 pages seems like a lot for one weekend! But I’m a slow reader, and that explains why grad school was so hard, because everything took me so long. Are you taking a Restoration drama class, or something similar? I’ve read the Fopling Flutter play, although I can’t remember it well — but have fun reading about fops!


  6. Dorothy: I’m taking a course on the “Long Eighteenth Century” but I think quite a bit of it is going to center around the Restoration. I’m looking forward to The Man of Mode just because I’ve rarely had to deal with dramas–I’m a novel girl myself–so it’s fun to branch out!


  7. Ooh, fun — do keep us posted on what you are reading for that class!


  8. I read the Rise of Silas… last summer… I found it in a used bookstore and thought–hmmm– it looked like I might like it (I love Drieser’s books about people like Silas)

    anyway– it was an excellent story.

    Now to put some more books on my list (which is the size of a book now)


  9. a fopling might be a baby fop–or a truly immature fop,

    flutter hmmmmm….


  10. Chedwick: I’ll have to let you know how I feel about Dreiser: I’m in the middle of An American Tragedy right now, and I’ll be reading Sister Carrie in a couple of weeks. But I really enjoyed The Rise of Silas Lapham as well! And don’t you just love how long the lists become (I swear, books add themselves when I’m not looking!) 🙂


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