Fun Reading for Recent Grads: Part Five

The final chapter of an irreverent guide crafted especially for recent grads looking to reintegrate with a society of readers.

This is the fifth time I’m reiterating for you the simple fact that reading in college and grad school is just plain not fun.

This is not always true – every now and then you get some exciting insight, but just when you are ready to slow down, relax, and enjoy . . . you have to speed back up again, and log every single thing you can before yet another hour flies by.

But the seasons change. Now time itself is what has slowed down. You aren’t who you were only a couple months ago, and this collection of articles is here to help you with your transition.

You see, something happens when you finish upper-tier schooling, those books you promised yourself you’d go back and read? They just don’t read the same as they did when accessing them was key to your metaphorical survival.

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The books you’ve acquired in mind-numbingly large quantities have lost their edge, but so too have you. I mean look at your twitter feed, it’s all professors of INSERT MAJOR HERE and people using INSERT SOFTWARE SUITE HERE.

So go ahead, take a few deep breaths, click the follow button below TMZ and Alec Baldwin and retweet the latest scandalous photo of Beyonce that Jay-Z doesn’t want you to see. That professor you harbor ill will toward because she gave you a C-? Unfriend her on Facebook . . . you’ll start feeling better.

Finally, take a swig of Makers Mark, throw away those last two 5-Hour Energies, and read this, the final chapter of an irreverent guide crafted especially for recent grads looking to reintegrate with a society of readers with no memory of a transcript or a core concentration.

Part Five of Five. Check out Part One: The Film Studies Grad; Part Two: The Philosophy Grad; and Part Three: The Economics Grad; and Part Four: The Sociologist with a certificate in Interactive Technology.



Ah, the dark arts of graduate school literary studies. You didn’t do it for the money, you did it for the Proust. Oh, no? You went the Shelley route? Ah, thought you were taking the easy way out with Frankenstein.

It was all going great until out of nowhere your adviser demands you read all of Mary’s fathers Rosicrucian novels and her husband’s euphemistic poetry and of course her mother’s feminist tracts. It took you more time to nauseously skim these books than it took the Godwin-Shelly family to write them.

Look, you made it through Frankenstein at least, right? Now join a Dean Koontz book club, and when you get to his Frankenstein series, be the smartest one in the room with honest-to-goodness credentialed insight!

What you had to read:
Lit Major: Academic Reading

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

What you can read now:

Lit Major: pleasure reading

Winner: Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

Runners Up: Gossip Girl by Cecily con Ziegesar (ok, this one might have lost a little relevance when a prime time TV show revealed Gossip Girl was actually a stringy haired adolescent male, but I digress…); Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (you’ve probably read about enough 18th Century theoretical lives in utopias and dystopias, now read a newer book about life in a video game).

RIFers and recent grads! How do you balance reading for school or work with reading for pleasure? Tell us in a comment!

ANDERSON EVANS is a writer/blogger living in New York City's East Village.  He has contributed his writing to sites like Gawker & The Daily Beast, and he once appeared on an episode of HBO's Flight of the Conchords wearing only a unitard.  He is a graduate of The New School, and is currently a masters candidate at CUNY Graduate Center. Visit the author online on Twitter  @Anderson_Evans.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Rachel Goldberg

    I have to say, seeing “Gossip Girl” up here brings back nostalgia/twangs of embarrassment for ditching assigned Faulker novels and indulging in all its glories. (This was pre-TV show glory, too). Back in college, I used to balance out my readings by making sure I’d shut any textbook about an hour before bed, and just decompress and unwind with a book for pleasure (like said “Gossip Girl”)

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