The Books I'm not Reading
I am so impressed when friends tell me they can read a book or two a week. They don't say what kind of book - a kid's fairy tale or an epic novel, but they actually take time to sit and read words on a page in a real book. I read a book a month, but mostly now I read so many ebooks and articles online.
I keep a stack of "real" books on my nightstand and read some pages from each of them in a rotating fashion. I've got two books about India that keep me fascinated. One is actually a collection of true stories, more like vignettes, of aging hippies who travelled overland through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan then into northern India. I did the same trip in 1971 from Italy, so the stories really awaken some long-forgotten memories. I've nurtured that book slowly so I don't have to give it back. I need to get my own copy.
The other India book is called "Holy Cow" by Sarah MacDonald, an Australian writer who spends some years traveling and living in that country. She's hilarious and poignant in her storytelling. This one is taking awhile, also.
Then I have a number of financial books, self-help books, how-to books, Law of Attraction vision board manuals -- lots that I may or may not ever finish. So many are waiting patiently on my shelves for me to finally open their yellowing pages and get to it. I can't help myself. For years I've collected the classics and letterpress editions - children's books, women's books, fiction, non-fiction, art books, etc. Each time I move I donate some to the local library, but still I have piles of heavy boxes to transport, again.
Sometimes I sit and look at them all - colorful bindings in hard covers, soft covers, no covers - some taped and repaired. They are so comforting - like old friends. They are my old friends! I did give away an entire Encyclopedia Brittanica a few years back. They were way too heavy to be lugging around. "Googling" answers most all of my questions. I haven't had to research "real" books since writing my last term paper for school - a couple of years ago.
I own a lot of resource books which I refer to when necessary, but really, unless one has school-aged children, the Encyclopedia just isn't necessary anymore. Plus they always had the smallest print. I could barely read them anyway.
At least until the next time I move, which might be this summer, I will keep my old friends on hand and dream about having enough time to just sit back and read read read. Not in front of this screen, but in a nice comfortable chair with a great light source. As Groucho Marx said, "Outside a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read!"