Saturday, November 06, 2010


Everyone knows that you don't go grocery shopping when you're starving. You wind up with a cartload of cookies, chips, and the trimmings for a five course meal followed by dessert.

It's a bad idea.

I realized the other day that I hadn't actually read a book in a few months. I still do quite a bit of reading online, blogs, news, and online magazines, but those are temporary bites and not a full cohesive meal.

During our weekly trip to the library, this is what I picked out:

Doubt, by Jennifer Michael Hecht (Michael as a woman's middle name?)

Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

Jung, A Biography by Gerhard Wehr

The Meanings of Jesus; Two Visions by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright.

I'm not sure what I was thinking. I must have imagined that I was some dusty, old Englishman holed up in a study overflowing with books, and dominated by a mahogany desk full of important papers with a strategically placed desk light illuminating all that I cared to read.

I am not an Englishman, and I have neither desk, nor desk light.

Never go to the library looking for a good book to read that will stretch your mind.

Or else you'll wind up like me, preparing to run a mental marathon when I'm only in 5K shape.

Plus, it makes you realize what a complete and utter affecting person your are. I mean, who does this? Who so overestimates their mental capacity and commitment to learning that they actually take several minutes to consider what they are picking out to read and thinks to themselves,"Yeah...I can totally do this!"

I do get some sort of credit just for checking them out, right? Like, there must be some sort of mental osmosis of knowledge that come from merely handling books like these and reading the dust jacket, right?



Sabio Lantz said...

Absolutely -- that is called "Essentialism". Just touching the books, putting them on your shelf for a few weeks, maybe sleeping with them under your pillow will allow their essence to flow into you.

This is why people would never wear a sweater worn by a killer -- they know it will rub off on them. That is why you should never buy used close, you will absorb their bad karma or bad juju.

As for your overreaching -- you know it is your virtue. It feeds you and your loved ones with happiness. Keep nurturing it!

Anonymous said...

Now I know that I am not the only human who does this. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to the library; taken out 6 heavy books and read part of one. Then I return them. This doesn't happen all the time... but enough to warrant mentioning.

I always tell myself that I am still increasing the library's circulation numbers (whether I actually read the books or not) and in this way I am helping society.