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spinz
Tuesday, 3 September 2019 at 2:06pm
Tuesday, 3 September 2019 at 2:59pm
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Thread: Reading: How many pages?

posted
04-Sep-19, 19:15
by spinz
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I agree that it is a boring measurement. But having said that, I am still interested to hear about how people manage their balance in reading between quantity and quality.

Thread: Reading: How many pages?

posted
03-Sep-19, 14:59
edited about 26 seconds later
by spinz
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi,
I am sure this question has been up in the past. But I often find myself googling the topic, and it is sursprisingly hard to find discussions on this topic among academics, and people in the humanities in particular. And the topic is rarely discussed among colleges. Do academics (in humanities in particular) pride themselves with not talking about their personal reading discipline? Or is it simply a matter of course that it is futile to generalize on the topic, and every experienced reader knows this? Perhaps...

My phd is in philosophy, so I read demanding texts. Like secondary litterature on Hegel, Heidegger, Husserl etc. Or, I am reading primary texts. So it is a type of reading that demands that you get your head around quite complex stuff. I don't read much fiction, because all my reading energy goes into academic reading. So I think I have got used to a quite slow, and more contemplavie type of reading. But as an academic I still find myself asking how many pages I should read to feel content.

I once heard a professor say that when he was young he got the advice that to become an intellectual you need to read 100 pages per day (no matter what genre). He shared the story with a sense of irony, saying that he did practice this for a while before he got wiser. Another professor said that in philosophy, some times you work a whole day and only cover 20 pages. Another professor once said that 100 pages per week is ok, in order to really learn the subject you study.

I am at my 5:th phd year, and I feel a bit tired right now, a lot of work and no vacation. I work full time, no other distractions really. I have phases when I prefer to read only (no writing). Sure, I had days when I read 100 pages (depending on the material), but that is rare. In general, I really have to struggle to maintain 50-60 pages per day (5 days a week). On the other hand, I do think I get a good understanding of what I read.

But I am curious about academics working with similar type of (theoretical) litterature. How many pages per day or week is normal for you (in the long run)? What is your approach to reading? Do you often skim through parts? Have you found a perfect balance on how much to read per day/week that works for you? What is your take on quality-reading (understanding a text) contra academic zeal (covering a lot of pages)?
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