Side note – I enjoy early Discworld novels even more than I did reading them for the first time, twenty years ago. Some are better than others, but there are no weak links so far and I find myself raising the ratings for most (excluding ones that already had top marks, like Equal Rites).
Ola: I’m rather flexible in the aspect of number of books I read in any given time. Sometimes it’s only one book – but that happens on the rare occasions I devour a book in one-two sittings. Sometimes it’s three to four novels, on different mediums: one or two in paper (one in paperback, the other one in hardcover which is too heavy and cumbersome to be toted around in a bag or backpack ;)), one on Kindle, another one in audiobook, and of course there is always a handful of non-fiction books I’m reading simultaneously. Right now it’s Luttwak’s “Strategy”, Girard’s “Violence and the Sacred”, Polish version of Campbell’s “A Hero with a Thousand Faces” and a book about secret life of mushrooms by Hofrichter… Not to mention comic books 😉
Piotrek: There are, of course, some almost-books I’ve got started. Serial fiction, like fanfics, various essays etc… The swallow up my reading time and I’ve restricted amount I read in order to process more books. There are quarterlies I still subscribe to, but haven’t read in some time…
And, lately, I sometimes have another book I slowly read, one chapter at the time, right now it’s a huge tome of Hitchens’ essays I couldn’t take in one bite… sorely missed voice of reason, I often watch him on YT heatedly arguing cases close to my heart. And then there is a pile of stuff I wanted to read ASAP but never started, like the accounting textbook I borrowed from a friend a year ago… one day, I promise.
Ola: Yeah, I have some of these as well… Ekhm… Celtic mythology is still awaiting its turn, and not in the least because it’s not interesting! I just don’t seem to have a mood for it 😉
Piotrek: It’s ok, as long as it’s at your place, I don’t feel guilty not reading it myself 😉
When the time comes to choose my next read, I just meditate in front of my bookshelves for a couple of minutes, ignoring any previous resolutions 🙂 There are books waiting years for the right mood, books I’m sure I’ll enjoy, but feel no need to read them right now. Some Asimov’s novels wait a decade or so, Czajkowski was on my shelf for a year, and I’ve bought entire Malazan set… in early 2017, but I still can’t find the time for my second attempt at “Gardens of the Moon”.
Ola: It’s the problem of actually having the books you want to read – having almost all of them 😉 There are books I’m saving for a dark hour… I know they’ll be good and I keep them for the inevitable onset of a reading slump or a case of bad mood, or simply as an antidote to some failed reading experiments. It’s the case with the last Black Company books, for example.
Piotrek: I’ve began to suspect I might never read everything I want to…
Ola: Oh well, congratulations! It’s really high time to get realistic 😉
Piotrek: But, just as a kind of mental exercise, imagine you live a couple hundred years and finally read everything you ever wanted to… is life after books possible ;)?
Ola: Not in my experience ;). If you could live a couple hundred years, so could others, and writers among them, churning out one book after another :P. But seriously, I think that storytelling as creating sense-imbued narratives about the world around us and ourselves is a defining human trait. And as such, it won’t ever get boring or unnecessary. There is something special about books, Gutenberg revolution or not, that satisfies both the emotional and the logical parts of our brains – of course, not all books are like that ;). I personally enjoy very much the physicality of a book, the fact that I can go back to anything I’ve read anytime I want to and the only difference will be in myself, not the actual words on paper or screen. Whereas with oral cultures, or theater, the situation of telling and listening is different every single time ;). Do you think you could really read all the books you ever wanted and not want reading anymore?
Piotrek: Ok, no, of course not. I will be forever lost in a labyrinth of the ever expanding Library, always happy, but never fully satisfied 🙂