Things Liz Has Fallen Asleep While Reading

Or “the qualifying exam list”.

In the interest of science and, after noticing what I can only describe as a pattern, I decided to keep track not of what I have been reading, but of what I have fallen asleep while reading.

Prior to this year, I hadn’t really had the tendency to fall asleep while reading, mostly because I would do the sensible thing when tired (put the book down and go to bed). Now, however, I have too much to read and too little time in which to read it all (more so than usual). And so here we are. I plan to maintain this page pretty regularly during this leadup to quals and, perhaps, take a look back at the end to examine what sort of strange reading habits I have developed. If I come to any interesting conclusions, I will add them at the bottom.

  • Wednesday, January 9th: William James’s Principles of Psychology (on the couch)
  • Thursday, January 10th: see above
  • Friday, January 11th: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (on the couch. This, by the way, was the first night it occurred to me to take my contact lenses out before sitting down to read.)
  • Saturday, January 12th: Went to bed like a normal human being
  • Sunday, January 13th: Was too weirded out by William Blake’s “America, A Prophecy” to do any more reading and so went to bed.
  • Monday, January 14th: William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (on the couch. Woke up at 1 am, stared at the book, seriously considered starting to read again, and then went to bed.)
  • Tuesday, January 15th: Adrian John’s The Nature of the Book (in bed. I’m learning…slowly. Woke up at 3 am to find that the lights were still on, so I finished the chapter and then went to sleep.)
  • Wednesday, January 16th: Refused to fall asleep reading Freud, so put him down and went to sleep.
  • Thursday, January 17th: Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (in bed. It’s amazing how weird and disturbing that book can be even though I’ve already been taught all the really weird and disturbing bits.)
  • Friday, January 18th: Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journals (on the couch. One is reminded why even the best authors do not necessarily want their journals published: boring travel, lovely pastoral scene, stomach-ache, vomited and felt better, slept well, traveled again, lovely pastoral, feels rather jumbled together in the way that real life so often is.)
  • Saturday, January 19th: Well, technically, I fell asleep playing Infinity Blade II on my iPad, which is kinda like reading, right?
  • Sunday, January 20th: William Wordsworth’s The Prelude (on the couch. Because autobiographical blank verse never put anyone to sleep.)
  • Monday, January 21st: Nothing. (It would have been Friedrich Kittler’s Literature, Media, Information Systems except a) I was sitting at my desk and b) Kittler’s self-demonstrating explanations of how the German language doesn’t have limits on word lengths.)
  • Friday, March 1st: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton
  • Saturday, March 2nd: Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray
  • Friday, March 8th: Olive Schreiner’s Story of an African Farm


Conclusions: Williams make me tired.


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