>I have about 3,000 books. I’m certain of that because I entered them all into a database. What I’m less certain of is the number of those books that I’ve actually read. My fear–which, unfortunately, is not without justification–is that I’ve opened no more than half of those. At most. Okay, I’ve admitted it. I buy them, I want to read them, but I don’t. Not all of them, anyway. It’s not only embarrassing, it’s downright oppressive, with all those unread books staring at me from the shelves. (Okay, that part’s an exaggeration; most of the shelves are in the living room, safely hidden from view for most of the working day.)
Today, though, I declare a moratorium on book-buying. There is no more room on the shelves (the latest purchases are piled on a bench, wondering where they’re going), the economy sucks and I’ve started turning down consulting jobs to focus on writing anyway, and here’s the kicker: if I read one book a week for the next 30 years, assuming my estimate is close, I will just about finish reading what I have at hand today (and never mind the journals that will keep rolling in until I take some action to make them stop, and the free books I’ll be getting to review, and anything I might accidentally borrow from the library).
Like a middle-east ceasefire, I don’t expect this moratorium to last long. But maybe it will give me some time to create the illusion of progress in digging out of the mess I’ve created.