Sunday, January 09, 2005

Reading Journals

I stayed up late last night rereading the beginning of The Well-Educated Mind and got to wondering about the reading journal. Last time I attempted TWEM, starting with DQ (The Penguin edition), I dutifully summarized each chapter as I read, as she suggests. I didn't get very far, though, so I don't really know if it was of benefit or not. To be honest, right now it sounds like a pain. I just want to sit and read.

However, I do like the idea of the Commonplace Book, and of the writing one's thoughts and questions about what one is reading. I suppose I am starting to use this blog in that manner.

I have questions about this whole idea of whether or not Don Quixote is insane. At this point in time, it seems obvious to me that he is. In reading some of what Harold Bloom had to say in his book, Genius (and I have to say now that I have not yet read his preface to the Grossman DQ), it would seem that there is another way of looking at this issue, one which leans heavily on Hamlet (which I also have not read).

I suppose this is all grist for the reading journal...

Are you all doing the chapter summaries? Reading journals?


Blogger Tony said...

Well, I've never tried this reading journal like Susan recommended before now. I've only read about 4 chapters up to now and I'm not really having any problems with it. I also don't make that big of a deal about it. I would bet I don't pause more than about 60 seconds to jot a super, simplified sentence to give me the jest of what that chapter was about.

However, I do like the idea of keeping a seperate section of my notebook to jot thoughts or questions as I read. I guess I've already done that to a very small extent. The downside is I really, really don't want to stop that often. I can see the benefit, as Susan said, of just reading through and make a quick mark, fold or post-it in trouble spots to come back to later, maybe.

What do you think?

6:36 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Sigh. I think that's what's harderst for me: Summarizing. I get bogged down and try to include every detail, feeling unsure of which ones need to be noted.

That probably means I need to do it. But I'm not. :P

I'll try on the next book, maybe...

6:39 PM  

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