Robert Tamayo


Two Days Left to Read Shakespeare

There are only two days left in September, and that means there are only two days left to read Shakespeare. I'm on track to finish everything on Friday. I only have one play left to read, and the rest is poetry.

After 28 days of this "challenge," I'm beginning to question its merit. While I'm beginning to understand why Shakespeare is considered mandatory reading, I'm not sure it was worth taking away a month of free time to get through all of it.

At the same time, I now have a new understanding of how much I can read if I'm committed. Normally, I read a lot in a day. The problem is that I jump around from book to book. Seeing a giant book of 1200 pages melt away before my eyes has been encouraging. I now know for certain that I can finish books of that size in a reasonable amount of time, without any cost to other areas of my life. To put it another way, I'm no longer afraid of large books.

Even so, I do believe that my mind works best when I'm free to move between subjects that interest me. Sticking to reading Shakespeare has pulled me away from reading other books on my list that I'm more interested in reading. Again, this is why I'm changing the Poe Challenge in October. I will enjoy reading Poe in October, but I'll pick stories I want to read and go from there.

Also, when it comes to reading books related to my new focus on improving my computer science and programming knowledge, I'm not going to approach them in the same way I approached the Shakespeare challenge. All of these new programming books are large. I'm not going to read 40 pages a day until I'm finished with them; I'm going to read them to learn and understand the material. I might jump between chapters or skip some altogether. Basically, I've learned from the Shakespeare Challenge when to apply a "completionist" mentality and when not to.
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