There's a frankly ridiculous number of books out there. Even if I only stuck to authors I've already read, catching up on their catalogues would surely take me a lifetime. And there is also -- no offence -- non-fiction. Not to mention that despised indulgence, re-reading. And some people are writing new books. We readers don't stand a chance.
I've read a heady plethora of posts recently in which people talk about their reading plans this year, or their top ten anticipated reads, or which genre/classic author/letter of the alphabet they are expecting to conquer. I wish I had such a clear idea where I was heading across the multi-dimensional vastness of bookspace.
2010 has left me in a bit of a mess. I have nearly thirty books on my desk, waiting to be read. Some of these are lends from friends, some are thick books by untried authors, some others are thin tomes by old favourites; and some are -- no offence -- non-fiction. I have a handful of unrelated titles and authors on various scraps of paper and Word documents. I have book vouchers. I haven't got a map.
I do have some idea where I'm taking my reading in 2011, though. I'm determined not to be so free with new authors. My reading time is too precious to gamble with so freely, when there's over a hundred books out there by authors I love that I haven't got round to. It should mean I'm going to be reading a lot of books that I am very likely to enjoy. But like I said earlier, even that vastly limiting factor leaves me with a small-town library to get through.
And where does re-reading fit into this? Will all the favourites I've stumbled across over the last few years remain doomed to only that single, virginal reading? That's hardly fair. And why exactly am I buying these books, collecting them and organising them, if they're never going to get read again? And why do I still not feel well-read?