Sunday, February 06, 2005

Numbers are Harsh

A few years ago, this fool walked into the store, looked around a bit, and asked me, "Have you read all of these books?"

Um, no. Yes, we're a small store, but we still have thousands of titles. There's no way I could read all of these books in my entire lifetime, let alone have read them up to now. But honestly, that was a sobering revelation. Because I am a reader. Ever since I was a kid I've always just read without a thought to an end to it, without ever thinking in practical terms of how many books there are in the world and how to find the time to read them all.

Since I'm also a book buyer, I'm searching for things other people may want to read as well as myself. Other people being mostly Benn, but still, just reading titles and author names in catalogs takes time, too. I probably read more ABOUT books than the actual books themselves.

I'm 35 years old now. I have, if I'm lucky, 2000 more books to read before I die. A pitiful amount considering that more than 2000 books come out every week in the US alone.

Though it's true that most of the books published every day aren't things I'd be interested in, it's still a tragic fact that I will never be able to read all the books that I actually WANT to read. Forget about getting a chance to go back and re-read some of them.

So what to do?


Fuck it. Just read, read as much as you can, and don't think about the numbers.

1 comment:

Kazu-chan said...

When I was little, "Read one book on 1." was said by a school teacher. It was pain for me very much. Because I want to read a book by my pace. And, I want to read the contents which one likes, a cover, an author's book.
About one week should be necessary me though it finishes reading one by the domestic book. About three months should be necessary in the case as the book of the foreign countries because it finishes reading the writings of Mr.John Waters who for example likes me very much.
I will throw chalk of the blackboard to him if I met a school teacher now and it was compelled that a book was read to him again.