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Tag Archives: reading

For the past few days, I’ve been pondering the identity of the sadist who decided students should have to keep “reading journals”. I’m supposed to keep one in English, for Montana 1948, but I found the process excruciating. After what felt like hours of agonising effort, I finally finished my “analysis” (read: summary) of chapter one. The thought of doing it all over again for chapter two made me want to stab myself. Rather than resorting to that possibly fatal activity, I wrote “Some stuff happened.” and decided that that would be that. ENGLISH HOMEWORK COMPLETE.

Reading journals are frustrating for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that they are completely and totally useless. I don’t use notes to study. I never have, and I doubt I ever will. I don’t need them for analyses — if I’ve understood a book once, I’m still going to understand it the second time around. Why wouldn’t I? I don’t forget how to multiply just because I haven’t in a few weeks, and nor do I forget how to interpret particular books. Over time I do forget minor characters, and minor details of the plot, but rereading the book reawakens all those fact-related memories. It’s a lot more fun to read a book than to read some bland notes. I can also trust the author to have included every important fact in their book, something I can’t really trust myself to have done. Read More »


Last night I was plagued by the insomnia that often plagues me each school holidays. I tossed and turned for hours, willing myself to just fall asleep, and finally (at 3am) I had to give up. Then I had to find an alternative activity, and a nice quiet one, so I might still stand a chance at falling asleep. For some reason, I decided that my best option was therefore to read a book.

Two hours and 234 pages later, I emerged having read a good, meaningful book and in no mood to go to sleep. The book I chose was one that had been waiting for me since I was a year eight: I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier. The title is silly, which is what drew my sister’s eye to it in the first place. “Hahaha! Some guy wrote a novel about cheese!” In response to her laughter I picked up the book and read the blurb, and although distinctly devoid of cheese, it intrigued me enough for me to purchase the book. Just… not actually read the book. Until today.

Briefly, I really liked I Am the Cheese. Perhaps it was inevitable that I would like it. Read More »