Friday, January 4, 2013

So Little Time

I got a Kindle for my 60th birthday last year, but it still sits in its box, unused.  I have a household full of unread books, bought for 25 cents at library sales, and the library is half a mile away.  What do I need another thing to put endless queues upon? 

On the subway platform and train each workday, while half of my fellow humans there are totally isolated within their cocoon of selfhood, their earbuds sealing off their eardrums and their eyes riveted upon the device mere inches in their palm so they don't have to hazard a glance at a fellow human being, I have an open book in my hand and I can be engrossed in the biting winter at Valley Forge (I'm reading First Salute by Barabara Tuchman) but still be able to glance at my fellow travelers and imagine or engage in interactions, even if only for safety's sake.  Things can take shape on public transit that you might want to think about beforehand as they unfold.

I'm already swamped with books I haven't read that I'd love to get around to.  I have a bookshelf comprised of five twelve-foot long boards separated by cinder blocks in the basement that contains some of the books I have read.  Since age seventeen I have written down every book I have read, and a decade ago I digitalized the body of work by putting the list on a wordperfect document, by date and also by author, that I can search electronically or glance at the author lists.  All the unread books swim in the sea of clutter that is my house.

My friends who put their libraries on their Nooks and Kindles can't keep up with the additions to their endless queues they add to the back end of their device whenever they get bored and go off to Amazon for a few moments.  The unknown paramour is often more enticing than the steady tried and true immediately at hand.  So many books, so little time.

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