Oh, thank God. What a relief! And just at the last moment, too... I had, you see, been about to insert my absolute, final, will-be-accomplished-if-it-kills-me list of New Year's resolutions into the laminating machine. I would thereby have been committing myself irrevocably to a promise postponed for several years - namely, not to buy any more books until I've finished reading the ones arrayed along the Read Next shelf, piled up in the fireplace and stacked semi-neatly on the floor of the sitting room, study, bedroom and kitchen. And on the stairs. And under the bed. You get the idea. Lots of books. Unread.
Saving me this year from taking unwanted vows is a line I came across in Nick Hornby's The Complete Polysyllabic Spree from Gabriel Zaid's So Many Books!, in which Zaid says that "the truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or their desire for more".
In 2008 I'm gonna get cultured. Or at least stop thinking of my unread books as needless extravagance, overindulgence, inexcusable surplus and start revelling in living amidst such splendid confusion, with so many worlds at my fingertips. And in the fireplace. Either way, this will require that my acquisitive instincts continue to be indulged, not denied. Starting, of course, with Mr Zaid's gloriously exculpatory tome.I've bought/acquired three books so far in 2008 and ordered another one. I use the library heavily but cannot imagine not increasing my book collection over the year...can you?