I have found out that I am to turn fifty in a few short months. Really, it is news to me.
Anyway, faced with this fact I have decided I must be more scrupulous in what I choose to read. I have always felt it a duty to finish any book read past the first chapter. I find myself in the dilemma of not wanting to finish Tim Powers LAST CALL. It is not a bad work, but I have so much more reading to do and not as much time to do it in. Even of the books I have, I have this habit of buying new books while other books dust on my shelves. I even feel a guilt not finishing this book, that it has to be the victim of this new policy of mine.
A movie takes about two hours to finish, a book dozens (for me at least, I do not read fast – and the older I get the slower I read).
I have always wanted to read, for instance, PG Wodehouse. I delight in light television shows with witty dialogue, rare as they are. I have been told a dozen times I should try him out. When?
Have I finished reading my Father Brown stories from Chesterton? Have I finished the stories of Flannery O’Connor? No. And I find her story, Revelation, to be one of the best short stories I have read. What about the Bible? Much of that I still have not conquered. St. Augustine I have not read aside from samplings from a philosophy course. I still have unread Lafferty (I chose to pace myself on the Lafferty, but it is a pace that as been too slow). And many, many, more besides.
I also have to break the habit of reading four or five books at once. I can’t really complain about not writing when I spend all the possible writing time reading.