Compulsive Reading

I love reading. I think it is empowering to know that there are instructions for anything you’d like to do if you just open a book. I’ve worked to pass this sense of possibility to my children.

However…
It is possible to read instead of living. It is possible to bury yourself so deeply under the crush of incoming information that you never enact any of it in your life.

Mark Twain said “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them“. What about the man who reads so many that he never pauses to accept their influence?

With my stash at home, the friendly pusher that is The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and my “wanna read” list at weRead.com I fear I’ve fallen into that group.

To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom remove things every day.
-Lao-tse

I stumbled across the quote above in Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh and I am applying it to my reading habit. I’ve been adding books every day: books read, books to read, books to re-read. I have had enough of that path.

To stop adding things every day:
Until January 1st 2012 I will not procure any new books.
I will <gasp> subsist on books I already own or have already downloaded.
I will allow a minimum of 24 hours to pass between the completion of one book and the start of another.

To remove things every day:
I will not add any books to my list of things to read without first completing and/or deleting 2 other books.

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