Too many books

I stopped writing regularly on this blog a while ago, about the time that I stopped reading books regularly. (The usual culprits – career and children – lay behind both.)

Actually, it’s not quite right to say I stopped reading: I just slowed way down. Given that I used to rip through stacks of books as a kid and right up through college (the semester I spent reading a Nabokov novel a week, on top of other literature, probably stands as the high point), this has been a painful transition. I still keep a stack of books next to my bed to work on. Right now that stack is a foot tall, not including the latest Neal Stephenson novel.

Why has my backlog grown so deep? A few reasons:

  1. Reduced time to read. This one is self explanatory.
  2. Broadened interests. This one is more interesting to me. I used to be all fiction all the time, but lately am just as likely to be buried in history, or in Keith Houston’s Shady Characters (recommended).
  3. Latent desire to find more books. My acquisition rate has slowed down, but not as much as my reading rate.
  4. Slackened desire to read. Sadly, a lot of nights I just veg out—albeit with Facebook rather than TV.

I’m not making any resolutions about it, but I will be measuring my reading this year to see if I can pick up the pace. You can follow my progress at Goodreads.

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