After downloading another couple of free offers for a limited time, I noticed that I have ninety books waiting to be read on my kindle - 90. No wonder I sometimes feel overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. On my bookshelves, roughly 100 or more print books remind me daily that I've still to read them.
The strange thing is - at one time, I used to haunt the library, desperate to bring home the next four books I carefully chose with great anticipation. Adventures and mysteries waiting to be devoured whenever I had a spare moment, some that kept me awake at night reading long into the night, others that held far more temptation than any TV programme. As for book tokens - they were a great delight, promising hours of browsing and choosing with the added pleasure of owning those favourite books rather than borrowing them.
These days, it seems to take me far longer to get through all the books I want to read. Perhaps it's partly because I also write now and spend less time sitting down to enjoy someone else's carefully crafted words. As for the pile of magazines, writing or otherwise, they're going to topple over soon. Yet I still love reading a good book, still enjoy escaping to a fictional world with memorable characters, still enjoy the quick fix of a magazine article or story.
So I've come to the conclusion that there are just too many books now, and the popularity of e-readers and rise in self-publishing adds to the confusion of trying to choose what to read next. I love my kindle for reading in bed, and I think it's great that we have so many options now for publishing books - what writer would think otherwise?
And yet... sometimes I long for those days when I couldn't wait to get to the library for the next book by one of my favourite authors. Maybe the magic has disappeared in our digital age. Or perhaps I need to take more time to rediscover the joy of reading again rather than feeling guilty that I'm never going to get through all these books waiting on a rather soul-less digital device that needs to be switched on.
Wonder what it would be like forgetting to recharge the kindle for a month or two and turning only to the tactile print books on my shelves. Would it make any difference? I'll let you know if I ever get that far - maybe once I get through half the kindle books before I add another lot!