I went to the library on Thursday to grab a couple of books for a post next week on a local author for GalleySmith’s Literary Road Trip. One book I got took me into the library’s essay section, somewhere I actually haven’t browsed in a long time.
I love reading great personal essays and essay-length journalism. It’s a form I want to emulate, and I find writers in that genre never cease to amaze me. What struck me in the library was something that I’ve always known but never really got until now: there are far more books in the world than I am ever going to get to read.
Something about standing in front of an, admittedly, small section of my favorite literature and knowing that I’d never read most of what was on that shelf made me profoundly sad. It made me wish I could get back all the time I wasted that day surfing the internet and fiddling on Twitter while waiting for people to call me back for my news story. Imagine how much more I could read if I just stopped wasting time?
The thing is, even if I turned all of the time I waste in a day into reading time, I’d still have no chance of reading all the books I would love to read. I mean, there’s just no way it’s possible to keep up with the volume of writing that’s produced every day. But knowing that doesn’t make it any less sad, does it?