There are just too many books. Too many that I want to read, have to read, as soon as I am snared by that blurb or that one amazingly eloquent review.
I greedily read lists of celebrated books from the last year, the last decade, century even, marking off the ones I’ve already consumed. Shame fills me as I consider all the throwaway fiction I’ve spent my time on when I could have been reading that literary gem that everyone says captures something unique about the world today, about love or the mystery of human nature.
Then there are the series or the endless backlists that I need to work my way through. Every shopping trip is another opportunity to purchase a new book, regardless of how many unread tomes currently line the bookshelves that threaten to consume my living room.
With the discovery of Kindle comes the desire to buy a new book that very instant; a dangerous obsession that removes the usual distance of internet shopping. An impulsive decision and the novel is in my grasp, bank account be damned.
I’m caught up in the offers of books for reviews: crime thrillers, detective mysteries, YA supernatural romance, dystopian fiction – I could go on. Each one is a window into another world, a glimpse into the imagination of the author. I can’t turn them down.
And so the books pile up higher and higher, as I become a hermit crab in my own home, shuffling between the stacks in a frenzy of indecision: what do I read next?
Hours, days, weeks are lost to indifferent stories that don’t grab my attention and encourage me to read on, to stay up into the early hours with the bedside light burning.
Now the Kindle proves distracting, as I can glance at my phone whenever there’s a moment of pause in my day. I have become that person reading Moby Dick in the queue at the post office. It was free and I feel the need to check off another classic literary conquest. The copy I bought on holiday in Iceland sits idle on my shelf as a reminder of the power of words across any language.
With each book comes a new feeling, a new piece of knowledge that I will always carry.
There are never enough books. Never enough to read, enough stories to entrance and enchant you, to change your life.
Reading is an endless hunger, a search for meaning and pure emotion. Each book is a building block for our souls. Each book is an opportunity.
So read, because there will always be another book and the desire to read it will only burn brighter.