I live a life in paper. Most of my days are spent either reading or writing, although most of the reading and writing are ‘work’ both are certainly among the best pleasures of life. Yesterday was particularly full of manuscripts. When I sat in the morning in my office, with a fresh cup of tea, for the first time in nearly two weeks, I began reading a manuscript I had received to review from a professional journal. That work was interrupted when one of my graduate students arrived for a meeting we had planned. My student went through the few printer’s errors and other changes she wanted to make on the page proofs for an article that we had co-authored—the corrected proofs would go into the mail that afternoon. We then began to discuss another manuscript that we were preparing—one that will form the second chapter of her PhD dissertation. I had read through the draft of the manuscript’s discussion the night before, and we went through my comments and suggestions for a revised draft. The student also showed me the revised version of the introduction she had written for that chapter manuscript, explaining to me the changes she had made and what she had tried to achieve. I took the introduction manuscript to read later in the day.
I finished reading in the afternoon the article manuscript I had received from the journal to review. In the early evening, after I had set the article aside to think about its contents (and read through The New York Times), I drafted my review, printed a copy to check my writing, made a few changes, and then submitted the review via the Internet to the journal.
It was late evening by the time the review was submitted and by then the rush of thoughts had slowed for the day; I picked up the typescript of the manuscript on which I have been working. I worked at a few paragraphs before I went to bed, where I read. My reading in bed, among other books, has recently been a volume on Virginia Woolf’s writing. I particularly like the book’s photographs of Woolf’s manuscripts—they changed substantially as she aged, and she wrote eventually with an uphill hand.