Sunday, January 15, 2012
"Have You Read All These Books?"
If you have any sizable collection of books, I am sure you have been asked frequently: "Have you read all these books?" It's an annoying question because it betrays that the person who asks it is not a serious reader. Any answer you give: "yes", "yes, but" "no" ... will almost certainly not be understood. I dread the question because I usually want to be "nice." But how do you explain something as complicated as reading and the need to keep books around to someone who has never thought about serious reading. I recently came across an answer that is as good as any: "The best library contains both books you have read, and books you have not. The latter should grow in proportion as the library expands. A working library is as much a place for the possible as it is a record of the past." But I will not use it either to answer people who ask the question. 1. See here — an interesting site.