Reading Challenge

It is no secret that I love reading. Also, it is no secret that I love the smell of paper, the feel of paper, the heaviness of a book in my hands, simply everything that rules out considering Kindle a useful device. And it is due to this unwillingness of mine to compromise, that my apartment is starting to resemble a second-hand bookstore. The kind to which it is not advised to go if you have as much elegance of movement as an elephant. Granted, being buried under an avalanche of books, is not so bad as far as ways of dying go, but I would like to hold on to my life a bit longer, thank you very much.

Not trying to sound like a broken record, but the combination of my mental catalogue of ‘the person I’d like to be would have definitely read this book’, the easiness with which I go from ‘I want the book’ to ‘I ordered the book’ in about 2 minutes and the average delivery time of 6 weeks that makes me forget what books I have ordered or that I have ordered anything at all, are becoming a real issue. The result here is a never-ending stream of incoming books that are gradually piling up in my apartment, which rather than providing a varied personal library with 24/7 access, they became a constant reminder of my failure to keep up.

I know, I know, owning too many books to read, what a first-world problem. But let’s put the shame aside for a moment and actually think about it. I have long realized that buying books and reading them are two completely different hobbies. And there wouldn’t be nothing inherently bad in either (though I do silently judge you, all of you book collectors/non-readers out there), but the thing is that I actually do intend to read all the books that I buy. At least I do when I buy them. But what my mind doesn’t seem to comprehend is that unfortunately, my CV doesn’t list a full-time reader as my job occupation. I’m a normal person who has a 10 hours a day job and study responsibilities/interests that pay nothing, but takes up most of my free time and that this is probably never going to change. Call me a sissy, but coming to the realization that I’ll never be able to read all the books, is really depressing on a deep existential level.

However, as we established in the previous post I ain’t no quitter. The fact is, I need a plan. First, I was considering tweeting Elizabeth Warren as she has a reputation of being a planner in chief, but she seems rather busy these days. Never mind. Woman up and think, Gabi! Logically, to shrink the size of my pile of shame, I have to outpace buying by reading. Taking into consideration my competitive nature, I vowed to read 8 books in September and buy none. The plan was -8 books on my pile, which is pretty much nothing, considering that I have 6 more somewhere between the USA and Prague, but it’s a start. 

If you’re wondering how I’m doing, I broke the latter vow I after a week (what to say… I’m weak), but the former one still stands. So the score for now: a bit over 2 weeks in, 4 books down, 2 books bought, another 4 to read in a little bit less than 2 weeks. Silly? Probably.  Is there a great possibility that this endeavour just ends up being a new addition to my collections of failures? Very much so!

Stay tuned for the end of September update! 

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