(lack of?) Progress Report

Part 1 (written Friday, January 21, 730am)
I must sadly report that I haven’t gotten very much reading done during this (work) week – probably the least I’ve accomplished in a while. I’ve been working more hours than I like (still not as much as others at my office though, so I am probably looked upon in disdain by them – but I don’t care). Last night I got home about 7:15 and after a quick dinner while watching Jeopardy retired to the bedroom to read a couple hours before “bedtime.” I think I read maybe two pages of A Prayer for Owen Meany before I was sleeping like a stone. I still have about 250 pages of that one to go before my book club meeting next thursday, but I’ve only read about 40 pages since Monday. (Slacker!)

Wednesday night I ended up going out and didn’t read anything at all, and Tuesday night I returned to my favorite local pub to report back to my new reading friend on the Paulo Coehlo book I read. I guess Tuesday morning I did accomplish something as I read the William Trevor short story, “Widows’, which possibly has thrown me into depression for the rest of this week…

Also on the horizon is my reading and writing requirement about Xenophon’s Anabasis, which I have committed to writing a post about on February 4th. I’m anxious to get done with my A Prayer for Owen Meany reading so that I can really sink my teeth into this ancient classic.

Oh well, (sigh)… Maybe this weekend will be a banner reading weekend for me. Maybe I’ll spend saturday morning “locked away” at one of the libraries downtown and catch up.

What do you do when you find yourself veering off course in your reading routines? How do you get back on track?

Part 2 (written Saturday, January 22nd, 1145am)

Okay, I have much more progress to report now. 🙂 I am down to under one hundred pages to go in A Prayer for Owen Meany. I read quite a bit yesterday immediately after work and then before bedtime. I got up early this morning and kept reading (it’s too damn cold here for anything to seem more appealing than staying under the covers, warm and reading). I’m now on the final chapter – which is about 100 pages long(!) – and I have to admit I’m going to be sad when this book is over.

I’ve also been thinking about my reading lethargy this week and have decided that my job is to blame. 🙂 It seems to continue to grow more overwhelming and tedious with each passing month, and it is beginning to get to me. I know, I know, “wah, wah,” – I should just be thankful I have a job (and I am), so I will continue to soldier on for awhile and see if things get better…

I also drew another card this morning for my “Deal me in!” project. The ten of diamonds directs me to read Raymond Carver’s “Are These Actual Miles?” next. Diamonds is the suit of “mostly recommended by others,” which are all new to me stories. I couldn’t find the story available on line anywhere, and since I’m at the library this morning instead of at home (where my copy is), I guess I will have to wait until tonight to read it. I have to say I am really loving this project. The pace of just one short story per week allows and encourages me to spend more time focusing on just that story, rather than just “go on to the next one” as I used to do when reading collections or anthologies. I’m looking forward to reading Carver (recommended by fellow blogger Bellezza) as I have heard great things about him from several sources.

Have you read any short stories in the young new year? Who are some of your favorite short story writers?

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6 Comments

  1. January 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I just came across your blog from another site, and this post resonated with me. I have not been reading as much this month either. In fact compared to my reading these last 10 years, this is my slowest month ever. SNOW, sick relatives, work, and just life has seemed to get in the way.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

    Like

  2. Jay said,

    January 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the visit, Diane. I guess all we can do is keep plugging away until we get our reading mojo back. This might be a less extreme application of Churchill’s famous saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” 🙂

    -Jay

    Like

  3. January 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed A Prayer for Owen Meany. This was my first introduction to Irving, so I’m anxious to try another one of his novels. Probably Garp, but not sure yet??? I also hate it when my job gets in the way of my literary endeavors… Have a great week!

    Like

    • Jay said,

      January 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      I’ll probably steer clear of Garp, since I actively disliked the movie version, but ido plan to read some more John Irving after this one.

      Like

  4. Alex said,

    January 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I hope you still find reading fun!! How did the rest of the weekend go?

    Like

    • Jay said,

      January 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks, Alex! I pretty much kicked butt and took names the rest of the weekend. 😉 I finished A Prayer for Owen Meany and took a big chunk out of my Xenophon book.

      Oh, I read the Raymond Carver short story too. I’m “back in the game!”

      Like


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