Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

There are too many books

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Go to your favorite bookstore.  Look at the ‘new books’ section.  That’s a lot of books.  Look at the number that look really good, entertaining or well-written or just appealing to an area you’re especially interested in.  That’s still a lot of books.  And that section doesn’t even include all the good books you’d love if you saw, which didn’t happen to be chosen by that bookstore’s purchaser.

And that doesn’t include the books that were new last month, either.  The ones you still haven’t read because you’re still working on the best books of last year.

It’s a hard thing to accept, but accept it I must: there are more good books than I can possibly hope to read in my lifetime.  I will die with the list of really good books I have not read still much, much longer than the list of really good books I have read.  And that will happen even if I really dedicate myself to reading full-time.

And it breaks.  my.  heart.

My instinct is to try to keep up.  Read more, read faster, check the book reviews and the new books lists for good books that are out now, so I don’t miss any.  Make lists, so I can catch up when I finish the pile of unread books I have now.  My instinct tells me, ‘Read faster!  They’re gaining on you!’

Of course, my instinct is stupid.  I have to consciously remind myself that I can’t keep up, and I never will.  Relax.  Read slower.  Enjoy the process.  Get the enjoyment from the books I choose, including the enjoyment of taking time to reread the best of them, and let the rest of the river of good books flow by.


Written by Contented Reader

July 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

Posted in Opinions


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