It’s a (not entirely unexpected) irony that since going back to teaching I’ve stopped reading. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’ve read Face, Tribes, Traitor, The Lady of Shalott, Kid, About His Person and Name, one of which I’ve developed a deep aversion to. I won’t tell you which. You might be a student.
If I do manage to get another job in teaching then I’ll probably read Face, Tribes, Traitor, The Lady of Shalott, Kid, About His Person and Name once a year for the next 20 years.
Luckily (for me at least) it’s Shakespeare next term. Like with Bowie, the older I get the more I love Shakespeare. This time round it’s Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (two times hooray) and Much Ado About Nothing (erm…)
The point of which is: teaching subsumes your every waking minute. When you’re teaching something you like this is a very good thing: nothing sharpens up your reading more than the pressure of having to know a text inside out. But there’s no leisure when you’re a teacher, just periods when you’re not teaching but tired and thinking about it. I guess this is both madness and fun—on rare occasions. But I also find it quite sad. I don’t have the time or energy to read something like A Hero of Our Time or The Idiot. I used to send articles to my Kindle every day. Is my own reading a part of my past?