You all know that I read quite a lot. I keep close track of my reading and so far this year I’ve read 103 books and am working on two more — and I’m actually disappointed by this number, because it’s less than what I had read by this time last year.
Yes, I have no life.
Yet, in spite of all my efforts, eating books like bread, my “to-read” list keeps growing faster than I can read the items on it. It presently has 483 books on it. Going by last year’s reading count, if I focused just on those 483 and did not read a single book that wasn’t on the list, it would take over a year to finish. And of course that’s not going to happen in any case, because I keep adding books. So far this month I have read 13 books — and added 35 to the to-read list.
This evening I started a new book. I had read a previous book by that author and enjoyed it, and I am enjoying this one. I checked online and discovered the author had written several other books which looked interesting. I added three to my to-read list.
Oh, and while I was looking up the author on Goodreads, I glanced over the recent reading activities of my Goodreads friends and saw that one had read a book which looked interesting — so I added that to my list as well.
It never ends, does it? Last year I got the list down to under 400, but then I found this Australian site that had a whole bunch of rare Holocaust stories and suddenly I was up to 450 and climbing. All of those books will have to be ordered in, too, which lessens the possibility that I’ll ever get around to them, but I didn’t want to just forget about them.
Of course my list is far from being the longest in the world. One Goodreads friend of mine has, as of this writing, 4,567 books on her list.
I have accounts with two libraries — the Fort Wayne one and the Ohio State University one. At OSU I have twelve books checked out right now (one of them a school textbook, three of them already read and just not returned yet) and five on hold. Oh, and four inter-library loan requests. The librarians at OSU know me quite well by now. I don’t have to show my ID anymore. When a stack of books comes for me, they set it aside right there on the counter instead of putting them with the rest of the holds.
At the Fort Wayne library I have eleven books checked out and one hold that isn’t ready for me yet (a new book that hasn’t arrived). And two inter-library loan requests. I’ve made friends with the librarians there, to the extent that one lent me her advance review copy of Bill Bryson’s latest book.
I think if I had absolutely no other obligations I would probably read and work on my website forever. And maybe write some. I love to read a good book, then call my friends and tell me about it. I pick up on a lot of random stuff that way. The other day in class, my professor went on a digression and said some friend of his adopted a child from Kazakhstan, and added, “I have no idea why he chose Kazakhstan.” I replied with a list of the pluses of adopting from Kazakhstan. The other people in the class stared at me. My professor, who has had several classes with me, said, “She just knows stuff like that.”
People think I’m some kind of genius for randomly knowing a lot of stuff. But the way I see it, it’s just that I read so much. If they read the same books, they would know all that stuff too. Most people just don’t have the inclination to devote almost all their spare time to reading, to the neglect of everything else, the way that I do. And most of what I know is completely useless, anyway. Like, who cares that the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires you to carry a fire extinguisher in your car? It’s not like I’ll ever go there.
Now that I’ve finished this self-centered egotistical ramble, I think I’ll return to chipping away at my to-read list, in the finest Sisyphean style.
I haven’t forgotten that I still owe you guys a review of The Last Place You’d Look.