by Louis Borgenicht
There is comfort and security in possessing a good book. By that I mean a book you can be assured of picking up at any point and becoming totally ensconced in the experience of reading. And by possession, I mean the intense tactile pleasure you get from actually carrying your book around the house, or placing it on the front seat of your car in case you have a spare few minutes before a movie or a meeting. There is solace in just knowing it is there.
What that book might be is legion. A friend, a wife, or a husband might make a suggestion of a book you “have to read” (usually one they have recently finished) but if you are not in the mood for it you pass on their suggestion saying “I will I promise” but not dropping your current read immediately. This can become a relational issue: The suggestee may feel that you are ignoring them and brushing off their passion in the interest of a self serving choice.
But choice of reading matter is always personal and sometimes tortured. The most problematic situation arises when you start a book but either become disenchanted with it or have your interest piqued by another offering. The older you get the less guilt you feel giving up a book for a more satisfying one; life is short and as you age you are less driven by “should reads” than your own whims.
Having unread books in your personal library is a comforting feeling. It has to do with unending possibilities: there is always another choice if you are stuck. The solace of having a book you know you will enjoy on your shelves is literarily reassuring. For me it is a Carl Hiaasen mystery.
If you are feeling public pressure from the best seller list, a friend, a wife, or a husband, you can always fall back on the old adage that “there is no accounting for taste”. Hold your ground. Your desire to make your own decisions should be firm.
Reading is about choice, yours.