Teenagers Reading

research for my PhD thesis

Reading and Breathing

with 2 comments

I’m very close to having a thesis to submit but it’s taken quite a bit longer than I planned, due to a nasty monster which kicks at my heels, waiting for the right moment to trample mud all over my life. Monster isn’t the clinical term, most would call this monster depression, but I find euphemisms much more fun. Visits from the monster have been a bit too frequent for my liking this year, so I’m really looking forward to Halloween, when I will have a thesis to submit.*

the monster by Zoë S. At one time I thought I would submit at the same time as Zoë S. but she beat me to it and provided some useful advice on comments to be prepared for in the final stages of writing a thesis, in order to avoid a sociopathic outburst. I also found Zoë’s artistic post-it-note monster of great use. This looks just like the monster scribbled on the inside of my skull which runs circles round my mind, at the most inopportune times.

I haven’t been depressed constantly this year (in between I wrote a thesis with only editing keeping me from submission), but during the times I was, I came to the disconcerting conclusion that I couldn’t write a single coherent thesis sentence, but I could read book, after book, after book. Sadly none of these books were part of my lit review. Runaways is listed in my Literature Cited (as opposed to my Reference List) but reading all the vols I’ve got one after the other without a break in between (and this wasn’t the first time, so I already knew what happened) didn’t improve my thesis.

After whinging to my doctor about my inability to write a thesis, but my perfect ability to read a book (as long as it had no connection to my thesis) he told me that while depression makes thinking complex thesis thoughts pretty much impossible, reading, for me, is as automatic as breathing. This leads to the interesting hypothesis that if I stopped reading would I stop breathing? For my continued existence I’m not going to test that out and just keep reading.

*If I don’t have a thesis completus by Halloween I’ll surrender myself to the first zombie I come across and happily join the walking dead.


Written by ClareSnow

13 October 2009 at 2:36 am

Posted in reading

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  1. When Gurt died (woops, spoiler!) in Runnaways, it was the saddest thing I had read in ages (which probably says something about my reading list).

    Speaking of hybrid novels I have always wondered how two authors co-write. Do they take it in turns, each does a chapter, do they brain storm, or (what I think happens) does one stand over the other’s shoulder while they type and yells things like “Needs to be darker! More Storms! Let’s make it night time! YES!”?

    Good luck on the thesis, All Hallows Eve is a very good day/night this year :)

    Edward Shaddow

    13 October 2009 at 7:35 am

  2. Don’t be sad about Gurt (she couldn’t live anymore with a name like that) it’s Marvel and we know death is never permanent round there!

    Re: hybrid novels
    they have two keyboards connected to one monitor, like you can connect two monitors to one keyboard. both type furiously and shout a hell of a lot.

    I’ve heard whisperings that All Hallows Eve is to be quite a celebration this year, but due to the postie eating my invitation, weren’t you going to email me something, or did the gremlins find that too tasty as well?


    13 October 2009 at 8:10 pm

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