academy · balance

I’m reading a novel

I’m finally there. I’ve made it. I have now been finished my PhD long enough to return to reading for fun. I don’t have any more classes to teach this semester, and all of my grading is finished, except for the final exam which is still a couple of weeks away.
So today, I have finally picked up a novel for the first time since that last Harry Potter book came out. It’s been awhile.
While it is true that I have a number of articles just waiting to be finished and sent out for review, and while it is true that I have job applications waiting in the wings, today I will read a novel.
It is not entirely outside of my research interests of course. I’m not there yet. I’ve picked up Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. It deals with humour, taboo, and carnivalesque images and practices, all of which relate very closely to my own research.
But the point is, I’m reading something for fun, actually finding it fun, and not taking notes and anxiously skipping what I hope are superfluous sections that I simply do not have time to read.
Does anyone else remember their first post-PhD novel? When did reading become fun again?

One thought on “I’m reading a novel

  1. After I finished coursework, I didn't read a novel for something like four or five months. Then I thought: no one is ever going to tell me what novels to read ever again. Which was great, but I also panicked that I was going to slide into illiteracy, because, also, there were a huge number of canonical works I'd never read.

    So I bought a book of the collected works of Henry James. Read the short stories and The Bostonians. Then Edith Wharton's House of Mirth. Then the collected Dorothy Parker. Then a whooooooole lot of contemporary canadian fiction hardcover from the remainder tables at Chapters on Whyte Ave (right close to my apartment.)

    Oh yeah. I remember.


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