A few days ago, I recommended reading as good therapy for a troubled time, in which many of us are out of work and stuck at home. I also offered this caution:
I have to be careful of this one, because I am a real book nerd, and I can easily find myself reading to the exclusion of all else.
This is absolutely true. Growing up, the family joke was that the house could be burning down and I would refuse to leave until I came to the end of the chapter I was reading. If there is any exaggeration at all in this joke, it is slight. I love reading. If I am ever given 24 hours to live, I will probably spend most of them reading. In that situation, I would buy a good bottle of Cognac and some chocolates, cheese, and olives, and I would sip and snack my way into the next world with a volume of Dickens or some such on my lap.
I always buy more books than I read, and frequently patronize libraries as well (or at least I did before COVID-19 struck). Every time I’ve moved to a new city (and I’ve done this more than I care to admit), one of my very first steps is to secure a local library card. I still have most of them, although many are, I’m sure, long-expired. My point is that I am surrounded by books. Our small apartment is fairly bursting at the seams with them. That’s okay. There are certainly worse addictions in the world.
This will show you how I operate:
I recently started reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which according to Amazon is 4,720 pages on its own. Those last three words are important; I will not be reading The Dark Tower on its own. Being a nerd, I poked around online and found some suggestions from other nerds on the best way to read the series. Turns out good ol’ Stephen King has worked aspects of some of his other books into The Dark Tower, and I found a site which shows me the best reading order for everything. To be thorough, I will need an additional eight books for the full Dark Tower experience. Heaven forbid I should settle for anything less than the full experience. I already have those other eight books (a few thousand more pages) on order!