Another Month of Panic

download.jpgWhen you discover and suggest a new book every day it never really affects you until at the end of the month when you gather all those suggested books together and realize that you want to read so many of them and that you probably never will. As I sit here with hundreds of books surrounding me on my new white bookshelves and thousands of books silently buzzing in my miracle digital readers, I am realizing more and more the horrific truth in that Arthur Schopenhauer quotation:

To buy books would be a good thing if we also
could buy the time to read them.

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Another Month of Projection

imagesEvery day when I add yet another title to my list of suggested reading, I imagine that I am seated at a rustic desk with an antique banker’s lamp casting a yellow glow over the pages of the book I am currently reading, and casting a long shadow across the floor imaging the unending stack of suggested reading teetering on the outside corner of my desk.

Of course the reality is the light of my iPad and a digital list of texts to be read in my Marvin application.

Oh, I actually have a short stack of real paper and ink books on the shelf alongside my desk but as my eyes dim, this stack is harder and harder to reduce. Still, I’m not giving up: my goal is at least one real book from my overloaded bookshelves each month .. more if I can handle it.

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Practical Digital Reading

download-2.jpgDo you suppose the world will ever run out of books to read?

Probably not but I am more and more concerned about the future of paper and ink (physical) books in our future culture. I say this with three things in mind:

  • We have the technology available to us which will duplicate and even improve upon the paper and ink format;
  • We have the delivery systems in place that will allow distribution of reading matter in a matter of seconds;
  • The technology of today will more than likely be considered primitive in just a few short years.

I know there is a large population out there that needs to have their fix of moldy old tomes, savoring the aroma even before ogling the frontispiece. I expect that if smell is important, they’ll develop an app for it. Even today the apps for reading digital books recreate the physical experience with some accuracy if not tactilely sufficient, but the digital readers add so much more.

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Make the Bookcase Higher

imgresWhen you realize that I probably ignore nine out of ten new book titles I run across during the month, it’s still amazing that I can limit these suggestions to one-a-day. Add to that all the books I already have on my new bookshelves and I can hear the blind fury coming down the stairs looking to snip my aging thread before I can even make a dent in all this desirable reading.

Rather than panic, though, I have found the time and needed concentration to read eight to twelve books each month and being a retired old man gives me an excuse to lie in bed with my iPhone or sit comfortably at my desk reading on my iPad. Then there is my new tactic: reading real ink and paper books sitting on my porch in my rocking chair with the sun keeping me warm (and sometimes a little sweaty).

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