too many books

October 26, 2006

I don’t know what goads are, but does anyone think there are too many books in the world?

The other day I bought “The Authoritative Guide to Self-help Resources” written by psychologists. With great excitement I perused the 400+ pages of true gems of literature. Surely this would be useful for work, I even went to the library to check out some of the titles. After a while I was overcome by a great weariness. What was I doing there, exactly? I didn’t know.

Going to the library is often stressful because there are too many books. I’ll never read all of them and I don’t know where to begin. I have 11 month old twins, and reading one chapter of one book is a great achievement. Even with all the time in the world (as when I was pregnant) I still couldn’t read everything.

It’s a bit like life, really. There are too many options. How do you narrow them down? There is a lot of stuff I have to do but still more things I’d like to do, so I write lists. I spend 5 minutes on one item and then a baby calls, a month passes and I’ve lost the list.

I don’t blame the babies or the lack of time. It was still the same in the old days, when there was plenty of time. Different things, people take over and it’s hard to prioritise.

Too many books, too many ideas, too many people?

The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12: 9-14

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One Response to “too many books”

  1. cat Says:

    I agree–there’s too much of everything: too many places to visit; too many films/images/plays/television shows to view; too much work to be done; too much suffering to be healed; too many songs to hear; too many subjects to study… One could go on forever! I don’t know how the people who do so much manage it; like the folks who’ve read the cannon of English Lit, learned how to fly airplanes, have intimate knowledge of philosophy and the history of comic books, know six different languages, and are currently studying astro physics, rapier fighting, *and* devote time to their families. I’m always tempted to ask: “Where do you find the energy and time?!”

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