Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How Times Flies When You Read a Lot of Books

Unpacking and reshelving books after a move revives the love of those books and also serves as a reminder as to why you kept them. Granted, some make you wonder why you bothered to keep and move them, but many make you look back at them with a sense of nostalgia.
I'm sure I've mentioned before that I keep an Excel sheet of everything I've read since the late 1990s. It's helpful for many reasons, including the observation of trends in my reading habits, but it's especially helpful for two distinct reasons.

For instance, the Arthur C. Clarke short-story collection The Other Side of the Sky. At first I couldn't remember if I had read it or not. Reading the table of contents didn't help, and neither did reading the first few sentences of some randomly picked stories. So I pulled out the ol' Excel sheet, went back through the ages, and sure enough, I had read it. I scanned the notes I made and the stories came flooding back to my memory. I can even remember reading them on my lunch break at work, but when I saw the date when I read them, the shock nearly ruined my morning.


Holy Crap! Eight years ago! My memory of reading them is so vivid, it hardly seems like eight years ago. If I had had to guess, I wouldn't have guessed any more than five, and I would have considered that a stretch. When I scroll through all the stuff I've read since then, I can clearly see that the timeframe is accurate, just hard to swallow. Once I calmed down, I felt the urge to go back and reread those stories since I enjoyed them so much the first time. But Alas! The pile of books I haven't read yet awaits. And while I will reread these stories one day, they will just have to sit quietly on the shelf. Oh! The Lament of the Constant Reader: So Many Books, So Little Time.

Until Next Time...
Nostalgiacly Yours,

p.s. If you do get a hold of that Clarke book, or have access to some of his short works, I highly recommend "The Star", "The Nine Billion Names of God", "The Wall of Darkness", and "The Songs of Distance Earth" (which later evolved into a novel of the same name that I've read twice).

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