I tend to get asked a lot “what do you study at university?”, and when I tell them “English” I tend to get one of two responses:
1) a polite “oh, that’s nice”.
2) mostly people I know better will ask “doesn’t that ruin the fun of reading?”.
And yes, of course, that was something I had thought about when I first decided to apply to universities, but I couldn’t imagine studying anything else!
And actually, I’ve found that this hasn’t happened to me yet. Of course, the extensive reading lists mean I don’t have much time to read my own books (so, sorry that this blog has been a bit neglected!). However, at the same time I am reading authors and book that I have wanted to read for ages, but never had the time or motivation to do so. For example, Jane Eyre, Zadie Smith and some plays other than Shakespeare.
Plus, I’m also learning to look at these books in a different way – being able to analyse themes, genres, etc. that normally I wouldn’t think twice about. And, yes of course, there are some books that I have to read in my course which I don’t find interesting, but you can’t win everything!
So university hasn’t “ruined” reading for me. Instead it has given me an opportunity to read more and look at things in a new light – both in and outside my studies. Plus, if nothing else, this degree has given me the ability to read books quickly!