Saturday, June 30, 2012

Clarissa: June Progress Notes


Terri and I are co-hosting a yearlong group read of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Links to June update posts are being collected here.



June Progress Notes Confession

 That's right, confession. There has be no progress this month, none whatsoever... a statement made even more embarrassing considering I am co-hosting this group read. I am stalled near the end of the April letters.

The problem: Lack of motivation. While reading Clarissa, I am engaged and involved. However, once I put it down, I cannot gather enough motivation or enthusiasm to pick it up again. Sure, Richardson was in dire need of an editor, but I like Clarissa (most of the time) and want to see how it all turns out for her.

The solution: Don't put it down. I've never been good at reading several books at once, so what I probably need to do is make Clarissa my primary focus. Looking back on previous 'really big book' success stories (most recently A Suitable Boy and The Count of Monte Cristo), I read them exclusively over a month or two.

The implementation: Just read it. I have several commitments for July and August, but by late August or early September, Clarissa will become my number one reading priority.

How was your reading this month?

18 comments:

  1. Oh dear, I sympathise -and I must admit I didn't think I'd make it this month. There are times when I can't bear the thought of picking it up in preference to something else although there were parts in June that were actually quite exciting.
    Don't think I could bear only reading Clarissa - I try for a little bit every day. Good luck for July!

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    1. Cat - Reading Clarissa exclusively may be the only way I can get through it. Once I take a break, it's SO hard to go back.

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  2. I'm having that problem with Bring Up The Bodies right now> I like it while I'm reading it but everything else is engaging me more. Just need to put everything else ASIDE and finish! Good luck with yours. And signing up for a readalong almost guarantees I won't finish, LOL.

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    1. Marie - I had a similar problem with Bring Up the Bodies -got sidetracked by something a little more interesting and never returned. Simon Vance (the most incredible narrator ever!) reads the audio version, so wish I could listen instead. Will finish reading eventually though.

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  3. That must be some book if y'all are taking a year to read it!

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    1. Bermudaonion - Yes, 1500 pages of tiny print. Good thing I can adjust font size on my Nook ;-)

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  4. Back in the day I could read 3 books at a time and not have a problem. I can understand how easy it is to put it down and not come back to it. I did this with Bleak House even though I enjoyed reading it!! I'm sure that once you have time in September you'll rip through the rest of the book!

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    1. Staci - I think one print and one audio book is ideal for me... why do I always insist on pushing my limits?!

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  5. Hmmm. Remind me later and I'll put on my cheerleading uniform and think up some good Clarissa cheers. Actually, you and Terri should enlist Care. She's the best cheerleader ever!!

    Think about how good it'll feel when you can finally set this one down and be done with it. ;) I'm guessing you'll need a bit of a breather before we jump into War & Peace.

    (I kid)

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    1. Trish - Glad you're kidding about W&P - it may take a year or more to recover from Clarissa! Good idea to enlist Care...

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  6. Oh. I'm sorry this is going so slowly for you. I resolved in 2011 to read War and Peace. Big mistake. I grew to loathe color of the cover. I forced myself for months to trudge on. Finally, I thought, Why am I doing this to myself?! and decided to give up.

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    1. Deb Nance - No cover loathing yet (although I'm reading on my Nook), but if it gets that bad, I might have to give up!!

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  7. I don't have an excuse for my tardiness, but I have an explanation: Clarissa is sending me up a TREE. Seriously, reading the book is like watching an inevitable train wreck, and not being able to stop it. I just want to shake her and say, "Girl, snap out of it. Conventional behavior doesn't work in extraordinary circumstances. Get creative!" But I know it won't help. Still, with that said, I do want to see the project through. I am going to try and schedule some Clarissa time everyday this month, and see where I get!

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    1. Col - I really want to see this thing through, too. iI's just so hard to settle on the right approach. Reading letters on the date written seemed like a great plan, but once I fell behind, that was the end of that! Hope your daily schedule works out- I'm going to fall back on what's worked for me in the past.

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  8. I can never decide which is better with a big book - it really helped me to spread Bleak House out over all of those weeks. I'm not sure I would have stuck with it reading straight through. Although it did make it hard for me to balance other books. I'm with you, I have a hard time keeping more than one book at a time going.

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    1. Lisa - I guess I'm still trying to come up with the best approach for a big book, too. Reading exclusively worked for A Suitable Boy and The Count of Monte Cristo, while my piecemeal approach here (which I was so sure of) was an obvious fail. Bleak House was a print/audio immersion combo for me, too. Back to one book at a time...

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  9. I had a similar experience with As Always, Julia. I read the first 50 pages or so and then set it aside to read something else. That was back in January! I haven't returned to the book, in spite of my earlier enjoyment.

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    1. Les - It seems like whenever I read multiple books, one seems to 'win' while others are put aside... even if I'm enjoying them! It makes it even harder to pick them up again later, but I will finish Clarissa. I wonder if As Always, Julia is the kind of book that could be dipped into every now and then... read a few letters, then pick it up when the mood strikes again.

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