Guilty reading

Reading in the field

I don’t know if the term ‘guilty kebab’ is in use amongst much of Melbourne’s population, but at the moment my reading is sort of the equivalent of that. I really should not be reading, and while my thoughts often call out for more ideas to get stuck into what I feed it is probably not the gold star standard for what I should be consuming.

Alright, I really SHOULD be reading, but probably in a selective, note taking, no more than an hour per book, sort of ‘get this project done’ sort of way. Instead the other month, completely overwhelmed by work, I decided to ignore one of the only things my supervisor told me to do (structure my day so some of it is reading) and put academic texts aside to concentrate on the real world. It was a liberating feeling, suddenly not being a slave to a reading list. However, slowly I have crept back into spending time reading only without the guidance of any sort of list.

Chances are I will regret taking a hedonistic approach to how I use my time, and I will only have myself (and the fact that people write really readable ethnographies) to blame.

Aside from my growing pile of library books, I’m currently pursuing Teresa Gowan‘s (2010) Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco and I really recommend it if you are feeling tentative about writing an ethnography using the past tense.

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