“Have you really read all those books in your room?”

Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”

— John Green (Looking for Alaska)

Why is it people always ask this? Have you read all those books? In my case… well yes, if they are on the shelf then yes, yes I have. Do you think I put them there because they look pretty? Granted I have some old university textbooks I have not read 100 percent of that I keep because they are interesting and I read sections from time to time or refer back to. But fiction wise I have read them all or read more than once. Astonishing I know. But why is it so surprising? It is the numerous stacks of books stashed in the living room in various areas that I have not read. There is the ‘non fiction stack’, the ‘really want to read and will read really fast stack’ and the ‘kind of crappy stack that I will read when I have nothing else to read stack’ and the ‘I got from someone else that is not really my genre but will also get to stack’… I ought to have a book shelf in the living room just for the books I’m going to read instead of these stacks under the table, or in a corner table, but I don’t. I do have a system though. I swear. I know people do not consume books as much as I do… and I honestly only keep very few books these days. I learned my lesson the last time I moved. I only own six book shelves… with the shelves stacked double or sometimes three layers if I can get away with it, and sometimes with some stuffed in the top… but still not that bad once I weed out the donations for this year. The kindle has seriously helped a lot, that thing is loaded. I wonder how much space that thing has on it… Anyway, point being… I only have a small fraction of the books I actually read around at any time. And to get that sort of reaction so often takes me aback. Where are all the readers? Where are all the book lovers? If it were not for the Internet I’d think we were almost extinct. And you know I may not like the Harry Potter books myself, because, well I’m an adult, but I love them because what they did for children… I love that. I just hope those kids were like me and just get hooked on books and let their imaginations fly free.


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