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10 April 2011 @ 05:26 pm
a sad fact about my life  
I am frequently assailed by the desire to drop out of grad school so that I can have more time to read.


But this is what it is like inside my brain.

(I have several library requests that all came in at once, on Friday--bad timing, that--and I miss the days when I didn't feel guilty spending my weekends reading for fun. It's not that I actually get a lot of work done, mind you, when I'm not reading for fun; I just spend time stewing in guilt instead of either doing something useful, or just going ahead and reading for fun. And this cycle continues until I get all weak and feeble and irritable from lack of pleasure reading, and then I'll drop everything and gulp down as much reading as I can, regardless of other pressing concerns. It is highly irrational.)
Neaneadods on April 10th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Is there any way you can carve some set time out of the day - 15-30 minutes - to do some pleasure reading so you don't stress yourself out like that?
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 10th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
It's not a question of time--it's more a question of awareness! Because I know I should be doing other reading, I wind up wandering around aimlessly a lot (well, mentally--it's not like I'm doing laps inside my apartment) instead of settling down to do it. And then I look up and I've wasted a lot of time.

So--yes, I could! And that works reasonably well with longer books, when I've tried it: classic novels, history books, etc. It's the shorter novels that are the problem; when I pick one of those up, I'm probably going to lose a whole day to it. I do the whole "just one more chapter" thing until it's silly not to go ahead and finish. :)
Neaneadods on April 10th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
I've been finding a certain amount of sanity in the notion that I may read *one* Sherlock Holmes story every day when I get home from work. Or *one* chapter, if it's one of the novels. Pick up the mail, clean out the litter, read a story.

But before I was rereading canon, I would set a timer for about 15 minutes and just go until the chime rang. It helped a lot.
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on April 11th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Possibly I need to read more things with enforceable cut-off points. :) At least until I get into the habit.
cschellscschells on April 11th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Pretty much all I do since grad school is read and do housework (plus wrangling the kids, of course). It's not a bad lifestyle at all. But, of course, you have to find somebody to finance it... (And I do go a little nuts, occasionally.)
tempestsarekind: little womentempestsarekind on April 11th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
Ugh, money. Somehow it always foils all my plans for indolence and sloth!

I do wonder how I would fare if I didn't have something besides grocery shopping forcing me to leave the house sometimes, though. I suspect that I wouldn't be very good at working from home every day, although I like being able to do that a few days a week.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on April 11th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
The urge to Drop out of grad school to have more time to read, (Or do whatever it is that makes you happy, or feel energized) makes perfect sense to me, but think before you act on it. You are in grad school, so you can eventually get a position that will eventually allow you the leisure to both read and write.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 11th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm not actually planning to drop out--not seriously. I'm not sure about the forthcoming leisure, though: I suspect I'll have *more* of the same things to do, assuming I get an academic job. Although maybe I'd feel a little less hopeless about my ability to do those things (and therefore stress out about them less), if someone actually hired me to do them; I would have cleared the first hurdle, anyway!
viomisehuntviomisehunt on April 11th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
I know. I'm projecting. I'm working on my retirement and trying to work up some enthusiam to go back to school and get my Masters -- but, right now, with now real time to myself, that's all I want, time to travel. Don't know if I'm ready to research and write and read for grades and a degree again.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 11th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Fair enough! I guess the question (which I'm currently asking myself) is whether the degree will help you: either to provide incentive to do things (in the way that I always write more when I'm in a creative writing class, for example), or resources, or a sense of accomplishment, or like-minded classmates...
(no subject) - cisic on April 12th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tempestsarekind: ophelia has so few optionstempestsarekind on April 12th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
Which makes sense! I think the problem at the moment is that I'm at the stage where I have a lot of reading I don't want to do (like skimming books that aren't really on my topic so that I can say in the dissertation that they're not really on my topic), and a lot of reading that I'd much rather do instead.

Oh--and congratulations!

Edited at 2011-04-12 04:41 pm (UTC)
litlover12 on April 25th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Dorothy Parker has a great book review where she writes about wanting to give up book reviewing so she can read newspaper articles. :-) This made me think of it. I'll see if I can dig up the title for you.
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on April 25th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, if you find it, please let me know! That sounds very much like this sort of grad student paradox: if only I didn't have so much reading to do, the real reading could begin!
litlover12 on April 28th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
Found it. It's called "A Good Novel, and a Great Story." Can't find it reprinted online, but it's in the 1976 edition of "The Portable Dorothy Parker." This one: http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Dorothy-Parker-Viking-Library/dp/0140150749

The newer edition doesn't seem to have it, more's the pity.

Anyway, it starts like this:

"You don't want a general houseworker, do you? Or a traveling companion, fluent, refined, speaks French entirely in the present tense? Or an assistant billiard-maker? Or an elevator girl? Or a private librarian? Or a lady car-washer? Because if you do, I should appreciate your giving me a trial at the job. Any minute, now, I am going to become one of the Great Unemployed. I am about to leave literature flat on its face. I don't want to review books any more. It cuts in too much on my reading."

She also has a great line about "sneaking off to the dear, strange things I truly ached to read and to ponder."
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 28th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that! I'll have to look it up; I know I read bits out of that book, once upon a time, but I must have missed that essay.