How to major in literature and still love reading

If you’re new to this blog then hi and welcome! If you’ve been hanging around for a while then you probably know that my current occupation is: student of literature and writing. Going into the second week of this semester, I thought I’d share my thoughts on studying literature while still being able to enjoy reading (because sometimes that can be hard).

Some people, when talking about occupations, say that you should ‘do what you love’ while others opt for a different route and do something they like and save what they love for their free time (so as not to end up hating something you used to love because you do it all the time).

I hope I’m making sense because I’m already confusing myself.

When I tell people that I study literature, they often ask me if I get tired of reading. Well, I don’t. Not really. I can get temporarily bored of a particular genre, but I never stop reading. In fact, I  read more books during the semester than when I’m on holidays. I use the books and stories I’m interested in as an escape from the often tediousness of studying literature with a capital ‘L’. Although, through many of my writing courses I get to read a variety of books including YA and historical fiction (my favourites) and I really enjoy studying them and seeing how they work and what exactly I like so much about them.

This semester, I am taking a course in Shakespeare (scary, I know), Australian Literature (with a capital ‘L’) and I am doing a major writing project where alongside a few mandatory book we are REQUIRED to read the genres that we are interested in writing—and who wouldn’t love that? It is going to be a lot of work and that intimidates me, but I know I’m going to be fine because although it is stressful and time consuming,

I’ll be doing what I love.

Unfortunately, even though I plan to continue reading my own books as well as reviewing books for publishers I feel that my blog may become a little neglected over the coming months. I’ll still most definitely be around on social media but my blogging (especially strictly scheduled blogging like I usually do) will be taking a bit of a breather and posts will be less frequent and sporadic. But seriously, have you seen my reading list? No? Well, here it is:

  • Behind the Moon by Hsu-Ming Teo
  • The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
  • Five Bells by Gail Jones
  • Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
  • Freddy Neptune by Les Murray
  • Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver
  • Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford
  • Tamburlaine The Great: Part 1 by Christopher Marlowe
  • Sejanus, His Fall by Ben Johnson
  • The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
  • Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

And that’s not including my own research and other weekly set readings. Lucky I only have class two days a week!

lol jks my whole degree is pretty much self-directed learning and I study every day of the week

Being a reader and studying literature is hard.

So whether you’re in high school English or looking to go down the same path as me my advice is: read widely. If you do this, you won’t feel as bored or trapped by what you are reading.


4 thoughts on “How to major in literature and still love reading

  1. I couldn’t agree more that it’s so important to keep reading outside the required texts in an English/creative writing degree. I found that the courses I took as an undergrad gave me a really solid foundation in the history and evolution of western lit. and taught me how to read critically, but I came out of my degree feeling as though I had a good base from which to direct my future reading rather than that I’d already covered all the classics. Does that make sense? I went on to do my PhD and I tried to read at least fifty non-thesis related books each year while I was studying so that I didn’t end up locked into one narrow sub-genre, and I found that a huge help when I finally graduated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That definitely makes sense! I’m trying to read one non-study related book to one/two required reads and it seems to be working alright so far. Luckily last semester I didn’t have any full books to read so I made the most of my time attempting to reduce my ever-growing TBR.


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