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I thought this was an interesting post. She seems an intelligent and thoughtful writer, and I am going to try to track down her book.

ph.d. in creative writing

As writers, we live double lives: lived once in the world of others, and again, in the quiet of our own minds. It takes a certain amount of will and courage to leave with regularity the circle of humanity in order to enact a kind of theft, which is one aspect of what the writing life seems to be.

Anne Germanacos is the author of the short story collection In the Time of Girls (BOA Editions). Born in San Francisco, she has lived in Greece for over thirty years. Together with her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Studies Program on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete, and taught writing, literature, and Modern Greek. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared in over eighty literary reviews and anthologies, including Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2009. She and her husband have four…

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Reading–or juggling–multiple books

As a teacher and a writer, my reading schedule gets a little jammed at times. I certainly have enough to read for my classes (at the moment, Ellison’s Invisible Man and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451), but I have my other reading as well. For instance, at home I have three separate books that I am dealing with.  Borges’  Collected Fictions next to my bed,  Tom McCarthy’s Remainders traveling back and forth with me on the train, and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach in the living room.

The nice thing about Borges is that so many of the fictions are short–which is why they sit next to my bed. Because, although they are short, they are dense, and I usually get through one or two at the most before my eyelids start falling.

As I said, the train ride to and from work is when I am reading the McCarthy book, and reading certainly makes the commute go quickly. If the book is good enough, there is a real danger of missing one’s stop. And so far, Remainders is very good. I have an hour commute each way, so these “commuter” books usually are finished within a few days.

And finally, the book that is sitting in the living room, The Art of Fielding.  It is there for after dinner, before bed, before or after grading essays, marking tests, preparing classes.  It is this book–the living room book–that usually takes the longest to complete.  But I’ve learned it’s not a race, and more often than not the quickness of a read is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of the read.

Anyway, my question to you writers out there.  When you are writing, do you deliberately stay away from reading?  Do you read only for “research,” whatever that might entail?  Or do you find that you can continue your usual reading patterns without any interruptions to your writing?