Today I read a lil snippet about 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, a book which we clearly must steal from the bookstore and return for a refund in order to depress the sales figures.
Then I calculated. I estimate I have 50 years left, which feels like an immense stretch of blank canvas considering I’ve only been me for the past, oh, let’s say 15 years. That’s a prologue and Act I over, with 2 acts and an epilogue to come. When calculated in books, though, at 50 books a year, in front of me are 2,500 books and behind me are 900 books (fudging numbers since I’ve been reading longer than I’ve been alive). If 30% of my books are re-reads, that only leaves 1,750 new books. Anguish!
Why am I going to buy the Absolute Sandman set (massive, expensive) if they’ll suck away 11 books in an 11-book chunk each time I accidentally open one of them? Why bother assembling a library — even my strictly edited Bookcase — at all?
Mr Tulip raised a trembling hand. “Is this the bit where my whole life passes in front of my eyes?” he said.
“No, that was the bit just now.”
“The bit,” said Death, “between your being born and your dying.”
– The Truth, Terry Pratchett