Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Chat: Obligatory/Required Reading

I think I might have done a video for book chat once before, but I can't actually remember.  It's one of the things I always say I'll do and then forget.  I'm doing it this month though!  For more discussion on this month's topic, you can view Misty's post here.  This month's topic is obligatory or required reading.

I'm an English major, so I definitely have to deal with required reading on a regular basis.  It wasn't that bad my freshman year, but I'm sure it'll get heavier next year.  It doesn't really bother me though.  I like to plan things.  I'm on summer break right now, and I'm still making to-do lists every single day to assure I get things done.  I'm the same way with reading.  I list the books I'm going to read next, and except in special circumstances, I stick to that list.  It's just how I do things.  It makes me feel better.  For that reason, having required reading has never really bothered me.  I just add it to my list and schedule it in.

For the most part, I don't think reading being required affects my enjoyment of it.  It used to.  In my late elementary school/earlier middle school years, I think I hated the majority of books we were required to read in school.  However, I'm not really sure how much of that was the books or me picking up on the rest of my class' feelings and thinking I should hate it too.  I'm not entirely convinced that my hatred wasn't a result of peer pressure, which really makes me want to go back and re-read those books.

In eighth grade though, we had an assigned book that to this day remains one of my favorite books of all time (Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare), and I think that made me a lot more receptive to the assigned reading we got at school.  There have still been books that I didn't enjoy all that much that we read during school, but I think I would have felt that way whether they were assigned or not.

As for being obligated to read books for review, I don't think that really affects my enjoyment either.  I went at least a year without accepting any books for review because it was getting too much for me to handle time wise.  (This was before I started planning quite like I do now and also one of the big reasons I plan so much now.)  I've just recently started accepting books for review again, but it's on a much smaller scale.  I know I need to be careful to think about how stressed I'll be if I accept too many books, but at the same time, I don't think it affects how I enjoy the book.  It might if I was getting extremely stressed out about the amount I needed to read, but I can't really enjoy anything if I'm stressed anyway.  As long as I'm careful about making sure I can manage everything, the fact that I'm obligated to read and review something doesn't really bother me.

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