Friday, December 17, 2010

Searching for Time to Read

I love reading books. But as the adage goes, there so many books and so little time to read them all. As of last count (oh, maybe 2-3 years ago), I had 3,000 unread books so I'm presuming that-- with my reading speed slowing down and reading time cut back-- this has gone up by 4,000 or more.

Unfortunately, as I grow older, I have parallel growing fear that my book pile of unread books will never grow smaller and that I will die with so many stories still left unread before me. Morbid, I know, but it's either that or delusional in the belief that I will become immortal just as long as there is one more story left to be read in my library. (Schezerazade, anyone?) Which is better, eh?

Because of this lasting concern, I sometimes mourn certain books that I cannot start because I have a feeling it would a lost cause trying to start reading them now. For example, I've always been fascinated with Patricia Highsmith's works ever since I caught scenes from movies likes The Talented Mr. Ripley and Ripley's Game. I do think if I ever get the courage to start, it would be the Ripley books.

On the other hand, I've already read one John Le Carre book (The Night Manager) so I'm not totally in the dark about his work. However, given his bibliography, I'm somewhat reluctant to dig in even with his more famous works like The Spy who came in from the Cold or Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy or even Smiley's People.

Fortunately, I'm a big fan of Iain M. Banks' science fiction Culture novels but I've always been curious about his writer alter-ego and his mainstream fiction. In this case, Iain Banks (without the 'M') has been steadily writing as well and I regret not getting a copy of The Bridge-- which seemed strange as any SF genre book out there-- at a local secondhand bookshop.

I could go on and on about regret on not reading the bibliographies like Jose Saramago, Mario Vargas Llosa (who recently won a Nobel Prize) and Orhan Pamuk (whose My Name is Red I'm still slowly savoring) but you get my point, right?

How about you? Are there any authors whose long list of works you'd want to read before you're dead?


dodo dayao said...

I'd like to start reading Le Carre myself, having read only one book of his and a long time ago at that so I might have to re-read it. I used to be daunted by the idea but now that I've bravely purchased and begun reading Robert Bolanos, I think I might have the courage. Let's see.

Belated Happy Holidays and advanced Happy New Year. :)

banzai cat said...

actually, managed to pick up bolano's 2066 myself so i still have some hope of following the latest from the (relative) farthest reaches of the (book) world. hope you've had a good holidays as well, my friend!