Fun Reading for Recent Grads: Part One

From finals to fun: moving from assigned academic reading to reading for pleasure

Recent Grad

Recent data shows that there has been a significant rise in college degrees among Americans. What this data does not dare reveal is a far uglier truth: many of these same highly credentialed post-graduates have forgotten how to enjoy reading.

Transitioning from graduate school reading to “reading for fun” should be a pleasurable move, but for many recent grads, the change is far from effortless.

I should know, I just finished coursework, however, I count myself among the lucky. Before going back to school I spent several years managing a bookstore, and during that time developed a healthy backlog of books with only minor academic applicability, if any. I felt it would be unethical to keep such valuable information to myself and hope to use it to benefit humankind.

If you are attempting to purge yourself of Academic belles lettres, esoteric manifestos, or manuals for specialist research, I’ve created a guide just for you. If you are a pleasure reader looking for something a little denser, this list might be of some use to you as well. Part One of Five.

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The Film Studies Grad

You’ve been reading nothing but collections of articles on Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and the Russian avant-garde movement. Well guess what, not only can you read anything you want now, you can also watch anything you want. This is a fact most of the people at your new office have known for some time. The parties you are now being invited to might come with a better wine vintage, but those raised eyebrows that appear when you list each of the actors in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis aren’t as good a sign as you think. Why not hop aboard the world’s literary bandwagon and read The Hunger Games? Feel free to see the movie first, we won’t tell, we’re all friends here.

What you had to read:

Student Reading: Film

The Film Sense by Sergei Eisenstein; The Silent Cinema Reader edited by Lee Grieveson and Peter Kramer; The Film Theory Reader edited by Marc Furstenau.

What you can read now:

Pleasure Reading: Film

Winner: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Runners Up: Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford (you know those people you spent years studying? A number of them were terrible parents); and 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die edited by Steven Jay Schneider (if you don’t make it through all of them, nobody is going to give you an F).

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

Featured image: SFIO CRACHO/

About Anderson Evans

ANDERSON EVANS is a digital humanist, game designer, marketing professional, and former Baruch College lecturer on New Media.  His reading genres of choice are postmodern fiction, sophisticated graphic novels, and those narrative heavy science books that make him feel like he understands quantum physics.  Mr. Evans currently resides in Manhattan’s East Village.

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