Image from Tumblr.
I created a shelf on Goodreads for books that I’ve bought in 2012 to help me keep track of my purchases. I have so many books waiting to be read and I want to get to them instead of adding more to the list. It’s just that I can’t seem to help myself – there are times when I feel book-hungry (the opposite of which is book-full) and I want to buy a book. I try to tell myself to only get books that I can read right away but that doesn’t always happen. I keep wondering why I feel the urge to accumulate books when I don’t have enough time to go through them. My old reasoning was that I’m worried that the next time I go in a bookstore, the book that I’m interested in will be out of stock. But now that it’s much easier to order books abroad, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. I was browsing through my Tumblr dashboard one time when this lovely quote popped up:
“Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen
Full of majestic potentiality! I love how he phrased that. I completely agree. He said it much better than I ever could. You know how it feels when you read a promising book only to be disappointed? You think that you liked the book much better before you read it because at least the anticipation was there, the book had the potential to be one of your favorites. And that feeling is gone when you read the book and it doesn’t live up to your expectations. It’s funny but there are times when I can’t wait to read certain books but there are also instances when I’d rather wait, probably because I also choose what I read next base on my mood.
Also, it IS comforting to have copies of books that you want to read on your shelf. At least you don’t have to worry about getting a copy anymore – it’s right there, waiting patiently to be read when the mood strikes. Maybe I wouldn’t feel that way if we had ready access to good public libraries but I doubt it. There’s a reason why I don’t let my friends borrow my favorite books unless I have duplicates – and that’s because I don’t like the feeling of NOT having books that I love with me.
What about you, do you like collecting books so you can keep them all over the house as “intellectual wallpaper”? Do you agree that books waiting to be read are filled with “majestic potentiality”?