During my undergraduate studies, I found that if I didn't restrict my pleasure reading, I would fall behing in my homework. Being the addict that I am, I would read rather than do my work or practice. I usually had to cut myself off completely, and then binge like crazy between semesters. I'm more disciplined now, and while I still have to restrict myself, I usually don't have to forbid reading outside of coursework completely.
This semester, I have to read 100 books! I'm taking a Children's and Young Adult Literature class, and I have to read a broad sampling of both children's picture books and chapter books, that I haven't read before. This is like giving an alcoholic free liquor and telling them it's okay to drink all they want for the next 3 months! I'm in hog heaven! Not only do I HAVE to read, but the mere challenge of 100 books brings out all the Type A in my personality.
I'm calculating that I have to read at least 7 picture books plus at least 1 chapter book a week. My list is already growing, and I'm looking forward to reading many of the books I skipped when I was younger, for whatever reason. I welcome suggestions, especially for the younger children's literature. The young adult is much easier for me. I'm already reading Lois Lowry's The Giver which I've been wanting to read and couldn't figure out how I'd missed it until I discovered that it came out when I was in high school and was too old for such books (I was busy reading Raymond E. Feist and other fantasy and sci fi).
The hard part is I still have to do homework. This isn't my only class, and reading isn't the only assignments we have. So I have to find that delicate addict's balance - being able to function and feed my addiction. It's going to be a great semester!