Everyone who has ever known me agreed or can agree that I have an attention span of a squirrel. That becomes a major issue when I settle down to read. After a page or two I feel anxious and fidgety, and ready for the next adventure. I have way too many interests, and most of them include paper. I create decorations for my journal, put together a recipe binder, make collages out of favorite fashion magazines, recreate interesting memorabilia (my latest project included an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Grail diary), organize dad’s philately collection, design my daily planner in Photoshop, draw with color pencils and paint with watercolor, and try to scrapbook my travels once in a while. Just typing that took a significant amount of time; now imagine trying to fit it all in a schedule while working full-time and taking care of the house. I love all the things I do, and like Angelina Jolie of creative pastimes, I am stretched thin by all the attention my brood requires.
Last week I decided to experiment and put my creative skills to good use – I made a reading calendar (which I refuse to call “schedule” due to my aversion to commitment). Obviously, I had even more fun making than actually following it, but a week later it still proves rather effective. Before I used to have a very hard time keeping up with all the Goodreads groups and their great readalongs, yet today I am very much on track and not sweating about it. In the note section of each week I make sure to write down everything I want to finish by Saturday night. Keeping that in mind, I quickly break down each book into chapters or chunks that I then assign to certain days of that particular week. I try to allot only small portions (no more than two, three chapters) of the book per day and leave a couple of breaks in between them to fill with other reads. Such breakdown controls my short attention span and adds variety to my reading. Today I am supposed to finish chapters 16 and 17 of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry for my Reading the Chunksters group and tackle book 5 of The Aeneid by Virgil for Reading the Classics. For tomorrow I have scheduled a little bit of The Brothers Karamazov and another book of The Aeneid. Perhaps I should make a weekly post to see if my little experiment with a reading calendar still works and update you guys on my progress.