Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Sunday Salon: First Ever Post (for Me)

The Sunday

So me being me I decide to get back into blogging about book the week before BBAW. I have spent the week reading some amazing bloggs getting inspired and building my virtual TBR pile (I use Shelfari and then buy a bunch of them at once and they go in my actual TBR pile). I wanted to start by thanking the organizers for putting on such an inspiring event!

So what to write about here? Well since it is my first post I thought I would make it a bit about me. While surfing the bloggs at BBAW I came across this blog from Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness where she asks the following question:

How do you squeeze reading into your schedule? What’s your best tip for making reading a habit when it feels like there’s no time? Or for students, how do you balance work and pleasure reading without burning yourself out?

I am currently a gradstudent studying for my MEd Secondary School English (primarily ESL). One of the reasons this blog got put on the back burner in the spring was because I became overwhelmed by school work. I did read, I mean I was doing a survey course in English and American Literature, but reading for pleasure didn't happen as much as I would have liked. This year I am determined to get a better balance. To allow myself more time for reading. My plan for now, and this will need to be tweaked probably since I start student teaching tomorrow *insert me as a headless chicken with my arms flailing here* and who knows what that will be like. The plan so far is:
  • In bed with book for fun at 9pm at the latest.
  • When I have to take the bus (which will happen at least Monday and Tuesday next week) either book or audio book on iPod.
  • Weekends are for fun stuff and this includes reading.
My sister and I also agreed on a rule last year: No school books in bed! Last year I allowed lit books in bed but I think come spring when I do my last term of English lit books will be banned from bed as well. It just made me stressed last year.

For me finding a balance between school books and fun books has come down to this: Setting aside time for each. I am fortunate that I do my school on a distance learning basis. That means I sit at home and my classes are through Adobe Connect or a video streaming site. This means that I don't have any time between classes where doing school work might be hard to do. So I have decided that from 8-5 I do school work (with a break for lunch where I can do fun stuff) and after 5pm is time for me. I am not always good at doing this and sometimes school scuppers it (giving us several long chapters to read on Friday for Monday) but most of the time I know what school needs and when. I also try and shove reading in when I do have "dead time" like next week when I am stuck on a bus for almost an hour. I intend to imitate the New Yorkers and bury my nose in a book.

Looking forward to next week:

I want to finish Queen of Sorcery and start Magician's Gambit both by David Eddings. They are part of my re-read of the The Belgariade and The Mallorean. When I heard that Eddings had passed away this spring I decided that I would re-read these two series, unfortunately at the time I was on a different continent from my Eddings books and the local library only had a couple of them from the middle of the series so that plan had to wait.

I also intend to take part in Fall Into Reading that Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting. I was warned not to over reach with challenges and such (thank you so much to all who said that. I knew it but needed to hear it from more experienced people too) so I am not going to jump on to many to start with but this one seemed like a nice gentle introduction into the whole challenge scene. So be on the lookout for my post on that on Monday or Tuesday (it will probably be Monday since Tuesdays are a bit of a bear for me). I will also take part in Banned Book Week September 26th through October 3rd over at The Biblio Blogazine. I will be reading an old favourite of mine that I haven't read in forever: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and commenting on the reasons it was challenged (and banned from some places) and why I think it is an important book.

Other than that I am hoping to enjoy some more crisp fall days here where I can go for walks in the woods and pick mushrooms and then come home and curl up with a good book and a steaming cup of tea.


Anonymous said...

I am in graduate school, too, and completely understand what you mean about finding the balance. I'm getting my master's in Spanish Literature, so I also have required reading. I have been doing the audiobook thing and it's been working out really well. I have an hour commute every day to get to school, so I usually finish an audio book every week and a half. It's nice to know I'll always have something to blog about!

Zee said...

Thank you for stopping by. That's what I am hoping with the commute too. That it will encourage me to read or listen.

debnance said...

I gave up tv in 2003, if that helps. It opened up hours and hours for me to devote to reading.

Table Talk said...

Zee, welcome to the Salon and thanks for dropping by. I'm sorry you caught me on a bad day, I'm normally much more upbeat. I hadn't heard the Eddings had died. I'm very sorry. I love the Belgariad and the Mallorean but haven't had much succes with his other books.
I think your plan for balancing study and work is a good one. First time round when I did my Masters and PhD for work (as opposed to now which is for pleasure) I had the same sort of timetable and no one I was working with could understand why I didn't work weekends and evenings, but for me it was the only way to remain sane. I shall pop back regularly to see how you're getting on.

Zee said...

It probably would and to a certain extent I have. I don't watch tv when it is on any more. Eliminates the ads and I only watch the shows I want to watch none of this sitting around watching the show between the shows you want to watch. I can't give up my tv watching completely. I did that once back in 2001/2002 when I was in college and we didn't have a tv. The first 6 months were okay but then I started missing it.

Zee said...

Eddings died at the beginning of June. At that point I was busy with school and going away for the summer. I was very sad. I've not read his newer stuff. I started and just couldn't do it. I have read the Elenium and Tamuli series as well. They aren't quite as good as the Belgariad and the Mallorean.

Last weekend when I had to do school work all weekend (and I mean ALL weekend) I felt myself going slightly batty. I really can't do that again. Thank you for the encouragement. I look forward to more visits from you.