> torek, november 29, 2005
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Gabriel Zaid: So Many Books

"The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones." -- Joseph Joubert

There is not just one world, I am pretty sure about that now. There are more, and everywhere I look I can discern some.
Let me explain: There is the common world inside an office, which wraps itself with 9-to-5 around a working day. There is at least one another outside the office, the world in the mountains for example. Every morning when I go to work, I drive towards the roots of the Kamnik Alps, when the glorious Storžič (2132 m) looms in front of me. Why oh why I am turning left now, I am pondering at the crossroad, when I should go the other way, to the mountains. Mountains, I want to see the mountains again! But I don't. There is much work to be done, deadlines met, only so that our GDB and standard continuess to grow (let us not bother now to what an end or goal). When I finish and step outside, the daylight is usually out and all that Storžič says now is good night and good luck. I throw myself down on my knees and I scream. I do that every day. This is how I've become fond of fog and clouds.
I think my dream world is out there among the birds and trees and over the altitude, where the smell of the stars starts substituting that of ours. There lies my world, calling my heart on all frequencies. But my heart doesn't answer, I can't do that, for I am in jail.

That's how it is with me and the mountains. However painful this is, it's just a tip of the iceberg, in a way. Pretty much the same holds for books. Somebody, would you please freeze time for me, so I could purge my bookshelf at home and then will you hold that magic a bit further so I move to my local library and ...

But sometimes I feel like reading doesn't help me that much, sometimes it's painful for me to join discussions with my co-workers. They don't read. If they happen to read something, it's most probably a newspaper article. And only if you could see them how smart-assy they become! Like the author of that article is some kind of a messiah and like it's not obvious they flew over the text while having a snack. You can probably imagine how tedious it is for me to socialize. Sometimes however this is a bit less painful, although the conversation is still as shallow. But hey, who I am to say such things; am I that different? In the end, I don't think so, I guess I just read a bit more of those newspaper articles ...
Anyway, if only I could, I would stay away from all of those that don't read. But it's one thing to say that, and another to do something about it. In society one must choose: either to socialize or perish.

Having said all that, I wonder how my heart could've stayed in one piece for all this time. So many books to read, so many cartoons to see, so many mountains to climb, alas alas alas, and so little time too to do that.

Remark 1: The book kind of answers the ultimate question, the one Lillit the editor posed: How many books are there? So many.

Remark 2: Eat me, there is a book, titled So Many Books, So Little Time.

Remark 3: Lillit told me I didn't really say anything about the book. Didn't I? :) Well, isn't it obvious: that (1) it is a book about: books, how many books are there, at what rate are they coming out (one in 30 minutes), who is fond of bad books, why is there relatively so little reading and so on, and (2) that a good, solid summary one gets at a place like Amazon.com and not on a blog?
There is also a poem inside this book, which I like:

There is a mirror that has seen me for the last time
There is a door I have shut until the end of the world
Among the books in my library (I have them before me)
There are some I shall never reopen

The poem tells me of my foolishness that even tough my bookshelf is full of pearls and wisdom out of the past like Goethe's Faust or The Feynman's Lecturec on Physics, I don't really open them, but, alas one more time, read books like ... So Many Books instead.
That's the first impression. But later I remember some of the girlfriends I had, and I could paraphrase:

There is a girl who had seen me for the last time
The heart of the other I shall never set on fire again ...