Required Reading

The words on the page are staring at me.

I should have read them months ago, admittedly. My procrastination is catching up on me and I really can’t complain. When I chose to study English, reading hard books was kind of a given. But at the same time, the words on this page are rubbish and I’d really rather be reading some trashy romance novel which requires basically no effort for my eyes to skim over.

My eyes are scanning words but not taking anything in, and I sigh as I start at the top of the page again.

The words continue to stare.

I really need to read this, I think to myself. I have an exam in just over two weeks and I’m not going to be that person who doesn’t read the book I’m writing about. That really isn’t me. That’s why I’m sitting here, staring at these words.

Except thinking about what I’m trying to read isn’t actually reading it, is it?

I return to the top of the page. The words are staring at me.

I should really just suck it up and read it, but I can think of a million other things I’d rather be doing at the moment rather than reading. Ugh, I hate reading. No, that’s a lie, I love reading. I hate being forced to read stupid books that are supposedly masterpieces. The creative writing student in me is picking apart the flaws and the English student in me is picking up on all the great quotes for analysis. Darn you, joint honours.

Will this torture ever end, I wonder. Because the words are still just staring at me. Probably because all I’m doing is thinking rather than reading. I wish this book was Harry Potter, because I’d have no problem reading that. I’m hungry, and consider going downstairs for a snack. Probably not the best idea, actually, I’ve eaten enough today and want to have a good dinner tonight so I’ll just not do that…

Oh, I should really send that email, actually. Let’s do that – NO. I need to read.

The words stare at me. I stare at them.

I’m sure they mean something on this page. Someone spent hours putting them there, switching words, switching meanings, switching names. Editing editing editing. And here I am just staring at them, unable to get my mind to focus on how they link together sensibly. I feel slightly guilty, as well as confused. Someone out there thinks this book is good, right? It must be good. Maybe I don’t think it’s good because I’m not reading it. Yeah, that’s probably what it is.

Ok. Focus. I can do this. I’m good at reading. This is my third year of an English degree, I have to be good at reading.

I’m doing it. Yes, I’m actually doing it! Read a page, and another page. Man, I’m amazing. I could really go that snack now. I get up, the book abandoned. I read a total of five pages, I deserve a reward. Good job me.

Great, only another 250 to go.




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