It is surely sign that of a rich, affluent, and literate world that I can write this post. You see, I have a “problem” — I hate being in-between books. I hate finishing one book and then having to scourge around for the next to start on, the next “going steady & exclusive” date, if you will.
Never mind the fact that I always have a double-digit number of Kindle samples to sample, more library books than I care to cart back to the library to start digging into (George Lakoff, I promise I’ll get to you!), and various tomes that I actually spent money buying and yet have never looked at. All those riches just make things worse.
I dip into one book, browse through another, become disillusioned with a third (you call this writing? I call it boring!), crankily pick up a forth . . . all the while counting the wasted minutes when I haven’t settled on a book yet. Even if I read an impossible 462 books in a year, there are still more books than I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime (despite the fact that I plan to be around for a very, very long time). By UNESCO count, 147,120 titles were published in the US in 2002 alone. Even if I wrote off most of these works, there will still more interesting books than I’ll be able to read. When you combine that with the stock of literature already produced before 2002, the case really becomes hopeless.
Which makes it all the more important that I settle on a book to read now. Now, now, now. Something that’s not a dud. Something that I can commit to reading all the way through. Something so that I can be in the ‘books I’m reading’ phase, and not the in-between-book-ness that is biblio purgatory. Now.
By the way, this is the post I had in mind for Round 1 of the Guessing Game. Did you guess pretty well what I had in mind?
(Photo by Alfredo Gutiérrez.)