Friday, January 7, 2011

I get to these points in my life where I am simply, and thoroughly overwhelmed by the amount of information in the world. It begins when I become truly interested in some train of thought or genre of discovery. One such example is recurrent in books. As they say, one thing leads to another, and this is no less true in a library. As I'm sure that I am not the first person to realize this I will simply restate an idea here. Every book is somehow connected to the others. Whether it be an obscure reference, an obvious allusion, a connecting quote, or the need for support, authors continually refer to their predecessors and contemporaries throughout their work. As I read I begin to make dent in whatever reading list I currently have going. Then to my great delight I discover those connections which will lead me to other great authors and engrossing books. I add the manageable handful of book titles, lets say three, to my list. I move on to those books and find a few more, then to my dismay my 'to read' list has suddenly become ten times as long as the list of those I have finished. The realization of how much there is to discover and, along with that, that my life is limited, often result in a cessation of my trail. This not suddenly but gradually. My fear of the ever growing mountain of literature before me causes my noble quest to ebb, and I simply leave off at the tail end of the book I'm just finishing. I would assimilate this feeling to a soap-box car's journey down a hill, It begins rolling, not propelled by any motor and gradually, due to the incline of the hill, it picks up speed. The only problem is as I realize I'm going too fast and move to implement the brakes, I realize I have none and shut my eyes anticipating a crash. at the bottom of the hill, rather than impact, I feel a gradual decrease in in speed and eventually roll to a stop thanks to gravity. There are certainly more books in this world than I could ever read. It is only after I forget about that that I can actually read again. Then of course the cycle begins all over again. However, it does not end in hopelessness, rather it causes me to stare at the world which contains so many books in wide eyed wonder. Leaving me in utter awe and dazzled amazement at the sheer magnitude that the written word covers both spatially and conceptually.

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