This is going to be a short one, y’all. Sort of a coda to yesterday’s recollection of War and Piece and my lack of ever reading it.
My wife shared an article with me about owning books that go unread, and it was profoundly interesting.
Entitled The value of owning more books than you can read, the piece explores the idea that surrounding oneself with unread books serves as a positive reminder that there is always something else to learn, some new experience to discover. The author, Kevin Dickinson, goes on to write about tsundoku, a Japanese word for books we buy but don’t read.
I won’t summarize the article beyond that. It’s really worth your time to click through and read it for yourself.
I will say, however, as someone who lives in a house with several book shelves filled to overflowing, with more books packed away, that Dickinson’s piece put my mind at ease. It put to paper a lot of feelings I could never really express properly.
The book shelves that surround me provide a lot of comfort to me. Facing down a long winter ahead, with little prospect for safe travel anytime soon, there’s no shortage of stuff to read. And the literary cornucopia will easily stretch well beyond that season.
Whatever my interest, my mood, or my commitment level, there’s something I can pull off the shelf and lose myself in. Now more than ever, that’s something I’m grateful for.
Will I read every book I own? I’d like to think so, but probably not.
My collection changes pretty regularly. Either I’m adding new books (something that’s happened very little this year, due to the pandemic), or I’m thinning things out, donating stuff I’ve read and have no interest in keeping or titles I’ve lost interest in.
Tonight I’ll start a new book: Take It On Faith, the debut novel from local author Bradley A.F. After that, who knows? But it’s somewhere here in the house, sitting right next to another book I’ll read someday. Or not.
Either way, it’s perfectly fine.