I dunno, I guess I've just been blessed with good English teachers. I actually find it more interesting to read some books (To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Secret Life of Bees, Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, 1984, Oedipus Rex, etc.) with my class. Plays, especially, can be quite amusing when everybody gets into it, no matter how trivial or irritating the actual work (Romeo & Juliet, for example...). Then again, my English teachers are all really into artistic projects and open class discussions rather than a series of essays per book.
Personally, I never let the page restrictions hinder me. I would stop when I felt like it. (Yes, I'm *such* a badass... >.<)
"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"