10.15.2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Keeping a Reading Schedule

It's Works For Me Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer!

So, confession: I'm a bit obsessed with systems. 
I make a system for most things in my life. It's not that I need them to function, but they make me feel so peaceful, they help me get things done, and I think they're fun. It's just how my brain functions.

I love to read. And there are so many amazing books in the world that I know I'll never read all of the books that I want to. So I want to make sure that I keep reading, and get through books quickly. I decided I wanted to get through a book every 2 weeks. It's rather a slow pace, but with the madness of the last year, making any time at all to read was a major triumph. 

So here is my rather bizarre and neurotic system, but it works for me.

I start a book on Monday. I have two weeks to read this book, whether it's a 50 page play or a 900 page Dickens novel. If I finish it within two weeks, great. If not... the book goes on the Queue. The Queue is like purgatory for books. 

After those two weeks, I start another book (yes, whether or not the last one was finished). 

If a book is finished early, then for the rest of those two weeks I read the first book on the Queue(the oldest). If that first book on the Queue still isn't done at the end of the two weeks, it keeps its position. 

At the end of a two week period, if a book goes onto a Queue and there are now three books on the Queue, then it's a catch-up period. The first book on the Queue gets read that period. If it still isn't finished then it goes to the end of the Queue.

This way, I start something new each 2 weeks. I think the system was born out of frustration at reading David Copperfield... it is sooo long. I was enjoying it, but I got bogged down and it took me a few months. I knew if I put it down without a specific plan to pick it back up again, I wouldn't finish.

This system wouldn't work for anyone that couldn't put down a book and pick it up a month later, remembering what was going on. And actually, I'm weird enough that I don't use bookmarks or dog-ears. I have always just been able to remember exactly where I am in a book. 

So far, it's been keeping me mostly on track. I think in the last year of doing this, I've only had one catch-up period.

There you go... I'm such a nerd, but... works for me!

4 comments:

Becky said...

Wow Melissa, this is an interesting idea! I read a ton, but never as much as I should, and I think this could help. It would be great for grad students who are doing exam prep, where you don't always need to finish every book, but you have to cover a lot of territory.

So do you divide the length of the book by 14 days and then try to read that much every day?

Melissa said...

Usually, I do try to divide it up evenly. I won't stress out about it, especially if it's a long novel, since I know I'll do more on weekends.

I actually never tried to use the method with school books. When I go back, I'll have to try it!

robin@heartofwisdom.com said...

Great idea!
I love your blog. Nice Job!

I would love for you to come and visit me and see the benefits of using an MP3 player for storytime for children.

See you there!

Robin@heartofwisdom.com
http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/

Renee said...

That's an interesting way of balancing your reading! I've never tried it that way, instead I just juggle multiple books at one time so I don't get bogged down in some of the really dense nonfiction I end up reading.