Skimming and Skipping

I have a hard time not reading every word of everything I start reading, and that’s a real liability when it comes to scholarship.

I’ve been practicing skipping as sort of a warm-up to developing the skill of skimming. I now skip the makeup articles in Real Simple, since I have never worn makeup and don’t ever plan to start. And I’m working on skipping articles in trade magazines–things like The Chronicle of Higher Education. I was advised, and I think it’s good advice, to read The Chronicle as preparation for going on the job market. And indeed, I feel that I have been getter a more complete sense of the profession from reading it. But sheesh, it is long. And it comes really often. Then there’s Poetry magazine. I really do not enjoy it, but it features articles pertinent to my dissertation often enough to make it worth my while. Except for the lame poems–lame poems are actually never worthy my time. Now, I read the first six lines or so of every poem and then (mostly) skip!

Still, just because I’d planned on reading it today, I read an essay that was almost an exact duplicate of a chapter in the book I read yesterday by the same author. Why I did not recognize the obvious need to skip this reading is beyond me.

Wait, no it’s not! I was just scared to start writing. Aha! The FEAR strikes again, this time in the form of re-reading something that was a struggle to read the first time through! And the sad thing is, I read that book twice four years ago in preparation to write a book review. (I really did need to re-read it once though, I swear.)

Writing–4 days     Exercise–4 days     This experiment is going great so far! Exercise really does give you energy. Today I went running first thing, then did a ton of cooking and cleaning in preparation for the Future Mister Doctor & my first wedding anniversary, and then wrote for two hours! And look at me now, posting to my blog! Whee!


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