Friday, January 11, 2008

reading

So I spent most of the day away from blogland yesterday, taking seriously Allison's call to spend my blogging time reading something else instead. I came straight home from dropping The May Queen off at school and curled up in the chair to read (normally, I would blog for a bit). I realize now that 8:30am is NOT the time for me to sit in a soft chair and read. Let's just say that I was in and out of consciousness for a good part of the morning. During the conscious parts I finished up To Kill a Mockingbird, which I loved. I even cried a bit at the end. Why did I wait so long to read it? Now I can talk with a teacher friend of mine who says this is her favorite book. And now I understand why so many of you have talked so glowingly about Atticus. He presents such a wonderful model of parenting - to allow your children to be who they are and teach them about what is right by doing it quietly and consistently yourself.

Rather than reading blogs while I ate lunch, I began reading Emma. I know, I know, so many of you have entreated me to begin my reading of Austen with Pride and Prejudice. I heard you, I did. I first chose Emma for two reasons: one, Jen of a2eatwrite recommended I start there, and then I remembered a dear friend of mine who lamented when Rachel on Friends named her daughter Emma, because she loved that name and feared if she named her child that everyone would think she was copying Friends (she also worried Emma would become the new "it" name). So she read the book in hopes that she would dislike the book or character, and thus no longer like the name. It didn't work that way. Fortunately, so far she has only had a boy and hasn't had to wrestle any further with the name of Emma. So that's how I picked Emma. Then so many of you STRIDENTLY suggested I start with Pride and Prejudice instead. I considered your pleas, but chose to stick with Emma. I've seen the movie version of Pride and Prejudice, and would prefer to begin my foray into the words of Ms. Austen with only my imagination to conjure up the scenes and the characters. I'm only 3 chapters in, but so far so good.

I enjoyed my time off of blogging for reading, but of course many of you were still blogging, so my reader was quite full this morning (OK, OK, last night when I checked it and even read a few of your blogs. I couldn't quite make it all day.) I'm struggling with this balance in blogging - of how to not spend too much time doing it, but also to be a good and faithful friend to all of you wonderful people I've met. I get a lot out of reading you and writing for you. If anyone has any tips on how you balance blogging and life, I'd love to hear them.

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Only 5 of you played along with the Krewe name challenge of my last post, so in the spirit of letting the good times roll, I've decided to award you ALL with a Mardi Gras package. So if Jen of a2eatwrite, Sober Briquette, Christine at Running On Empty, Mary Beth at Books...Cats...Life is Good, and RimaRama would send me their addresses (email to pntdmaypoleATyahooDOTcom)I'll make a trip to the post office Monday morning. Thanks for playing along!

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Monday's Mission is to write a post in the style of a movie synopsis. If you choose to accept your mission come back here on Monday and leave a link to your post.

31 comments:

Sober Briquette said...

Hmm. Maybe I should make Wednesday my reading / sleeping day. So many times after I drop Fiona off at school and Lorenzo off for his "day with gram" I think, I'm so tired, I'll get some extra sleep this morning... but of course I do not.

Except, I told the whole blog world I'll be using my Wednesdays for my volunteer work, so I guess not.

I am so psyched to be a winner! I'll be checking my mailbox on Tuesday.

(yes. I need to get a life.)

thailandchani said...

I've begun doing that lately.. monitoring my blogging time.. and I'm much happier that way. I post perhaps every other day and that's when I scan my reader and leave comments. It's a good balance.

Reading a book called "The Swallow" right now by Maria Doria Russell. Interesting premise.

(I liked "Emma", by the way. Very good book. The movie wasn't too bad, either.)

Tracey said...

Blogging shouldn't be a chore to accomplish, it should be enjoyed as a pastime. If you are missing out on things that you would rather be doing (like reading books) then read! Life happens in tides... you go through stages when something is really important and then it ebbs off for a while. Anyone that doesn't get the fact that you may be busy, um, LIVING, isn't really a friend to be worrying about!

Luisa Perkins said...

So glad you loved TKAM! And sorry for the stridence re your first Austen experience. I hope it's a good one. You know about the Masterpiece Theatre productions beginning this Sunday, right?

niobe said...

For a variety of reasons, (none of them having to do with you) I was re-reading Emma over the weekend. It's funny -- for me, almost all the charm of that particular book consists of the inappropriately elevated tone and complex sentence structure to describe the most commonplace events. The plot is almost an afterthought.

I'm glad you're enjoying it and that you decided to read the book that you really wanted to read, not the one that we so stridently urged you to read.

Rima said...

I heart Atticus Finch.

And Mardis Gras goodie bag contests.

I'll send you my address ASAP (and the secret location of Rama headquarters will finally be exposed!)

flutter said...

Blogging is not an obligation, it is supposed to be fun, yes?

Flower Child said...

I LOVE TKAM! Never read Emma but saw the movie so I guess I need to avoid that one. FYI, though Clueless (the movie) is loosely based on Emma. As is Bridget Jones for that matter. Or maybe BJ was more based on P&P. Something like that.

Candygirlflies said...

Oh, Mr. Darcy aside, "Emma" is THE BEST and my favourite... I'm so glad you're reading.

If you want a good chuckle when you're done with the book, then rent the (more recent) movie, "Clueless" with Alicia Silverstone... A modern-day Emma, and quite hilarious. Brilliant, actually, if I do say so myself.

xoxo CGF

Kyla said...

Did you know Clueless is a modern adaptation of Emma? I got an A on a high school English report on Emma from watching Clueless. Heh.

I've started it many times and never quite finished it. But I plan to, one day. I think I always just choose bad times to pick it up again.

Jennifer said...

The only thing I would love more than re-reaading To Kill A Mockingbird at least once a year (as I do) is to re-read it again, as an adult, for the first time. Ahhh. I'm so glad you loved it.

And I missed your Mardi Gras post yesterday, but I ADORE your house all decorated! What FUN! We do always celebrate but haven't gone as far as house decorating. I might need to follow your lead there -- so much fun!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Wow, TKAM and Emma in one day! Bliss! I'm glad you like Emma so far. And THANK YOU for the Mardi Gras bling! I'll send my address tomorrow a.m. - I don't think I'm up to remembering it right now.

And I DO hope you'll join the Writing Game - it would be great to have you on board!

wheelsonthebus said...

Well, the writing part of blogging is easy for me because my real-life is writing and the bloggins is how I work through ideas.

The reading? I use Google reader. I click on a post as I start reading it in reader so it is loaded by the time I have read it and I can comment immediately. That cuts down waiting for load time.

Nonetheless, I have had to unsubscribe to a few blogs lately. I subscribe to 100 blogs, and more would just kill me.

Mary Beth said...

Oh I loved Mockingbird. Have you seen the movie with Gregory Peck because he will always be Atticus Finch to me. And when the man in the gallery tells Scout to stand because her father's walking by - God I just got goosebumps thinking about it!

Sarcasta-Mom said...

I read in the bathroom. Until my DH or the kids hunt me down and ask why it's taking me so long to pee. LOL.

I spent 4 years studying the classics in college, so I shy away from them a bit now, but I will never forget To Kill A Mockingbird or any Austen novel. Did you know the movie Clueless is based on Emma? I actually wrote a whole college paper on it. lol.

Can't wait for Monday's Mission. I hope I can think of something good to write....

Sarcasta-Mom said...

Shoot, just realized another commentor said the Clueless thing. Here I thought I was being clever, and now I'm just lame. Damn me.....

Kellan said...

I think I am too new to blogging to truly be able to control myself yet (that is the excuse I've been giving myself) - I am a bit obsessed. I find it hard not to think about it constantly. I give you a lot of credit for putting it aside for even a day. I've been contemplating doing that on the weekends - but have yet to do it. Have a great weekend and I'm glad you enjoyed To Kill A Mocking Bird - I did as well. Kellan

bubandpie said...

Well, okay, then - I can see your logic about having seen the movie. But then why not Persuasion???? (Let me guess - I was one of the strident ones, wasn't it?)

susiej.com said...

I didn't read as much as I had hoped. But, I'm still going to try it again next Thursday. It is so hard to find that balance with blogging. So hard.

Kathryn said...

Good for you taking time off to read.
I actually just bought Pride and Prejudice and am planning on starting it any day now. I've never read it before and I'm really excited. I just hope I didn't build it up so much in my mind that when I read it I think, "huh? Why the fuss?". But I doubt I will.
Happy reading!

the dragonfly said...

I had fun reading Thursday too. It's nice to take a break. I've never read Emma, but I saw the movie. And also Clueless. It's going to be the next Austen I read....right now I'm reading Pride and Prejudice. :)

Christine said...

did i actually win some loot!?!? woohoo!!!

and i hav eno idea how to balance blogging and life. i used to be so good at it but now it takes me a week to get through my blog reading, i haven't update my blog roll, and i a always behind on posts.

sigh.

and i have never read any jane austen. i know! awful!

Running on empty

Amy Y said...

I think I have told you that I haven't read any Jane Austen either. I LOVE the movies they've made out of her books, but I have a hard time reading a book *after* watching the movie. I haven't seen Emma, so I'm thinking I'll add it to my wish list on Paperbackswap.com ...

I am not sure what the right balance is between life and blogging. Often when something happens, I am annoyed with myself for not having my camera to capture the moment ~ not for our membories, but for my blog (which is a sort of a journal for me... that we can go back and read one day later and remember these days). I don't think I've gone a day without reading blogs in ages.

Perhaps in Hawaii that will have to change! ;)

Family Adventure said...

It sounds like you had a lovely day off - I take days off to, but then I get penalized by my Google Reader the very next day, and despearately fight to keep the number down for a few days. Silly, isn't it?!

Enjoy Emma - I know I did!

Heidi

the end of motherhood said...

I think the way to find a better balance in anything is to pay attention to what you are doing. You'll find out whether you are tilting to one side of the teeter totter or are right in the sweet spot.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Oh, my, goodness. I can't believe you hadn't read those books yet. Aren't they fantastic?! To Kill A Mockingbird is so perfect, I read it over and over again in gaping astonishment. Pride and Prejudice, by the way, must be read, not seen. There are so many funny statements in the book that I am sure are lost in the movie. Go! Go! Read it!

Julie Pippert said...

All that great reading!

Of books, I meant. LOL :)

I have a similar struggle. I largely do not add many new blogs to my reader, and try to keep a cap there. It is the reading that gets me more than the writing. I'd write anyway, so it's the reading time or rather, the commenting time.

Then I feel guilty, such as meeting all the local bloggers yesterday. because I don't read them all.

So I try to keep myself mindful about it and see that my priorities stay straight.

Aliki2006 said...

I so enjoyed all the reading I did over the Christmas holidays and now I have to read Indian creation stories in preparation for class tomorrow. SIgh.

MamaGeek said...

It sounds like an awesome day off. I so get this post as I'm trying to wean myself from blogging more and more. Priorities and balance. Arrgh.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

one always needs breaks from the computer, blogging and otherwise, but it is hard when you want to stay "in touch" with new found friends!

thirtysomething said...

Ahhhh. A whole entire day of reading. A distant memory for me, oh how I miss it. Sigh.
I am currently trying to finish a book I started a month ago. Just no spare time, as my own blog writing and reading reflect, sadly.
Have a great week!