Way Behind

At the risk of avoiding the day’s most charged political debates, and there’s always time for that, I think I’ll take a break and concentrate on a matter of some importance.

I’ve too many books not yet read.

Some may chuckle at such a conundrum, others may tisk-tisk at my dithering procrastination, fewer still will have one iota of concern. This troubles me, but not for the reason one might think. Mostly, it is the icy hand of death laughing that he’ll have me long before there is time enough to get through Balzac, Boccaccio, Rabelais, Trollope, De Maupassant; authors you had no idea existed, not to mention Crane, Twain, James, Dickens, and Mann.

Oh, that I should be in such straights, and yet…

I have no one to blame but myself, for you see, too often I’ve been pulled away by lesser works and lesser genres, teased and seduced by noir and mystery, tomes of pointless forgotten history, and far too many periodicals and magazines that I wish to list here.

Foolishly, in my youth, I presumed to live many lifetimes and have ample time to lounge carefree with a volume of great importance in my hands, my mind alight by the words dancing off the page, and a greater enlightenment of the world and its inhabitants. Yes, I longed to have at my disposal a mighty font of knowledge culled from my voluminous and precipitous habit of reading the great works of humanity.

Also, as I am seduced by hubris and pomposity as much as the next guy, I believed my children would run to these great books, eager as I to find nourishment at their table. Alas, it is not to be, for they have fallen victim to the callus modernisms of the visual arts and the lure of mass media.

I am depressed, but not surprised.

And so, in my declining years, I shall endeavor with the halting steps of a feverish old dude, to attempt, perhaps futilely, to conquer that last great mountain that is my bookshelf of classics foisted on me by the good people at the Franklin Library.

Wish me well, my friends, wish me well.

©2020 David William Pearce

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