Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sunday Salon: Assigned Reading

The Sunday

What Caught My Fancy

Right now I am reading quite a few books that have been assigned to me. Books I have not chosen to read. Some of them have been on my TBR pile for years because they are books I feel I should read but that I have not gotten too. These are books that have entered the cultural discourse. Books I feel that as an English teacher it is important to read, so part of me is happy I have been assigned them.

Another part of me feels rather resentful. I don’t like being mandated to read. I especially don’t like being told that you need to finish the book by Tuesday. I like taking my time over books, or at least taking my own time over books. I rarely do well with others telling me what to do. I like guidelines, but not “you have to read X, Y and Z and you have no choice in the matter”. I always feel like I miss things in the books because I am rushed through reading them. I am reading them for a purpose, looking for a particular theme or comparing them to a theory on literature. I don’t get to experience the book on its own merits. I have to appreciate it on someone else’s agenda.

At the same time, I know that from a teaching perspective we must read the same books in order to have a good discussion. I know I should look at the books as if I am reading them for me, but still I can’t.

Does anyone else feel like this? Did you like assigned books in school?



Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I’m reading this for my class on lit theory but it also fits the Women Unbound Challenge and the GLBT Challenge.



The Souls fo Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois. This is my pick for this months Harlem Renaissance Tour hosted by The Classic Circuit and also one of my books for the POC Challenge.



Rapture in DeathRapture in Death by J.D. Robb. This is my lighter read. It also works for the Thriller and Suspense Challenge and for the Flashback Challenge (at least for me).





White Noise by Don DeLillo. This was a book for my lit theory class and in all honesty I had very mixed feelings about it. It got its message across clearly, I’m just not sure I buy the message.


Freedom in exile

Freedom in Exile by The Dalai Lama. I originally read this for the Social Justice Challenge (January: Freedom of Religion) and for the World Religion Challenge, but it also works for the Memorable Memoir Challenge and the POC Challenge. I loved much of what he had to say about religion in our lives and how we should act towards each other. I also appreciated getting to learn more about the history of Tibet. Great read!

Fun Stuff

I won something! Never win anything! But I did win the January competition at the Suspense and Thriller 2010 Challenge!

So thank you very much!! I’m looking forward to the books, none of which I have read!




Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Amy said...

I don't like to read on someone else's schedule either. I like to read what I want, when I want. At least this is how I feel now. I don't remember feeling that way in school though. :-)

Teresa said...

I usually don't mind assigned reading--I liked most of the books I was assigned in school, and of course, now I only "assign" myself books I'm interested in. The main problem I have is with reading to deadline for a blog event or book club, but I've learned to just start way in advance so I don't feel rushed. If I finish really early, I can go ahead and write the post and schedule it for the planned day.

Ines said...

Congratulations on winning! :)
Regarding mandatory reading, I can't say I was terribly upset by it - I always read everything on the list, although I would probably never have read them otherwise. But I think it was good for me and I always found time to read sth I liked alongside. :)