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A Bit of Light Reading

February 8, 2013   

I look at the stack of books on my desk and am almost dumb-struck. I have never read so much in my life.  My classes for the second semester entail copious amounts of reading and reflection; most of my late-night hours are spent flipping through page after page, gathering information and perspective on government, economics or German culture.

The pile on my desk numbers 13 books, with a 14th on the way; this count does not include the two large textbooks sitting in my backpack.  They are plays, history books and novels—classic German literature, contemporary political philosophy and science fiction.  Some are only 100 pages while others are as long as 500. Thus far, I have managed to read four of them; in the weeks to come I will read many more.

At the start of the semester, I was surprised when my economics professor assigned a 400-page science fiction novel due in two weeks.  By itself this reading was not terribly difficult. But in conjunction with another 200-page book for government, an entire play and a collection of poems to read for German, daily assignments for all classes as well as Track practice each day... time was short.

But I survived and completed each reading gleefully, though my eyes are a bit worn from the constant scanning of page after page.  The major downside is that I have been forced to shelve most of my pleasure reading for the time being; that stack of non-academic books is itself formidable.

I am quite positive this is only a taste of all the reading I will have to accomplish at Hamilton.  As classes become more challenging and research more intensive, I expect to sort through libraries of information.  But I look forward to it, as each new book opens up a new intellectual horizon.