Friday, May 15, 2009

Reading ....... for Pleasure??

This has been a very odd Spring.

Normally, I'm able to juggle the demands of reading for school with the demands of the Newberry Library, plus adding in a few "fun" reads per month. But this Spring has not afforded me much of a chance to do that. Somehow, I feel like I've been running in place for a long, long time without gaining any distance ... plenty of stuff read, but little of it new.

With having a student teacher these past four months, I was able to read prodigious amounts of literary criticism and biographical material on Charles Dickens, not to mention re-read both The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. At the same time, I re-read The Importance of Being Earnest, Gulliver's Travels, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Waiting for Godot, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and A Streetcar Named Desire with my Argo classes (as well as countless poems and a ton of student essays). So, everything considered, I accomplished a LOT of reading in four-and-a-half months!

But not as much supplementary reading -- reading just for ME -- was accomplished during that time. I have several different books under way to varying degrees and for different purposes -- and my hope is that I'll get to talking about them here over the course of the summer as I finish them -- but I feel as if I've somehow short-shrifted myself of quality reading time ...

Life is too short, right?

Anyways, I'm now in the process of re-reading Nicholas Nickleby for one of my summer Newberry seminars, as well as re-reading Paradise Lost for the other summer seminar. And in the Fall I hope to co-teach a seminar at the NL with a friend on Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, so I've begun doing some reading there as well.

The ol' cliche: Too many books, too little time ...

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