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  1. @jack Great perspective. I spent four years in a Ph.D. program in history where we read stacks of books every week and had to pick them apart in seminar. Though I appreciate the skills I gained in writing, research, and critical thinking, it took me several years to be able enjoy anything for its own sake.

  2. @Annie After graduate school, I worked in book publishing. I didn’t have to be too critical (after all, we are trying to sell these books), but it took a few more years to be able to read a book without worrying about who the editor, agent, and publishing house was. Too much inside baseball. I ended up re-reading Pride and Prejudice many times!

  3. @macgenie Oh, you’re lucky it took until grad school! High school English (really, freshman English, but reinforced three more years) destroyed my theretofore boundless love of and voracious appetite for reading, and it never recovered 🙁 I learned a ton about literature from those classes and teachers and really appreciate that, but I still resent them for the undesireable side effects.

  4. @macgenie It was worse than that, though…to prove that we had read the assigned pages (and hadn’t cheated with Cliff), we had daily (open-note) quizzes which asked about small and usually “unimportant” details, so you basically had to read and paraphrase the text into your notes if you wanted not to fail…. Then came the essays 😉

  5. @smokey In high school, we had to close read books by writing tons of notes in the margins as we read. This ruined my experience of some classic books as I was always thinking about what I would need to write. Also, my handwriting was awful and the fact it was in book margins didn’t help so I usually did somewhat poorly on them.

  6. @hexalspace That sounds terrible! We at least got to take notes outside the books; I can’t imagine trying to take notes in the margins all the time (my handwriting is also quite poor). But that’s exactly it, always thinking about the note-taking and not enjoying the book for what it was….

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