Books and Demons


I have an obsession with reading. Well, actually, as it stands now, it’s more of an obsession with being able to read if I wanted to. I’m sure many others share this ailment; it involves purchasing this book or that one with much glee and anticipation, reading the first part of it, and then repeating this upon the next trip to the bookstore.

It’s quite lame.

It’s strongly related to the DVD collection syndrome — where the coolest movie is the one you don’t have. Have you ever noticed that you don’t watch too many of the DVDs in your collection, but that if a movie comes on TV that’s actually in your collection, you’ll be riveted to the TV? Well, this is similar.

The main concept is one for which there are several cliches, the most powerful of which is “taken for granted”, i.e. anything posessed is less interesting and less valuable than that which is still out of your grasp and or fleeting.

Anyway, the goal of this post is to call this demon out, speak it’s name, and make a concerted effort to see that it no longer has any power over me. I’ll do this by, with few exceptions, reading each book all the way through before starting another one. I believe that starting multiple books as they are purchased is a nearly guaranteed way to ensure that none of them will be finished in any semblance of a timely manner.

So, that’s what I’m going to do — read a book. Buy the book, read it all the way through, put it on the shelf. I don’t mind buying more books during the process and adding them to the stack, but in order to defeat this problem I need to avoid getting started on them until I have finished my previous one. Of course, if I deem that the current book is of no additional use to me I can then skim the rest, set it aside, and start a new one. The key is not to have more than one book active at a time.

So, yeah…we’ll see how this goes.

[ Jun 4, 2005 ]

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