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Cheating on My Reading Goals

July 30, 2012

At the end of 2011, I had a chance to evaluate one of Those Things That I Do that had become a defining part of my life despite all that I had done to clear the decks while redrafting a work in progress. The dilemma about how to spend my time is really one of S.M.A.R.T. goals versus D.U.M.B. goals. I much prefer D.U.M.B. goals for the personal satisfaction that their accomplishment gives me and the looks on people’s faces when I rattle off all of the things that I want to do. At the close of one skirmish in this goals battle, I wrote on the Potomac Review blog about cheating on my reading goals. (I had resolved to read one book a week.) The posting includes a list of all the books that I read between May 29th and December 31st. (Keeping such a list no doubt has a place in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) On balance, my goal of reading one book each week was a total success (minus three missing books or three unexpected weeks in the year depending how you view string theory). Alice in Wonderland was an surprising entertainment. And Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze was harrowing and beautiful.

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