I'm skipping the usual introduction and skipping right to the piece. It's been too long without one. So let's get right to it.
Before I forget, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Mom, I know that you're reading this, so Happy Mother's Day to you too.
Are There Too Many Books? - Op-Ed Piece
Books are the core source of the vast growing knowledge and expansive information we gather as humans in our empty yet fulfilling experience of life. In the binders of books, we express our love of nature, passion for one another, hatred of our enemies, sacrifice for glory, and the many characters that we love to emulate and copy. Books hold so much about us; most importantly, those pages include all those items that have to get taxed in the coming year. Yeah, it turns out that books are popular for just keeping track of stuff, not stories and characters. Sure we all quote Shakespeare and casually bring him up in our everyday life more than we do our own cousins, and we know Harry Potter, and like him so much we all secretly hate the actual school we went to for our education, but what are we if the businessman doesn’t jot down notes on the transactions that he made within the business week? Not organized.
You like books. I like books. We all like books. Heck, even the illiterate like them. In fact, the illiterate liked books so much, they tried them out and became literate. Talk about crossover appeal, am I right? Books are one of those rare items that we don’t want to destroy, no matter what. I am not talking about a certain type of book either, that we hold close to our hearts. No, we put books on a separate shelf than other items. Like, would you ever burn a book? No, the act would be immoral, as if a demon dared you to commit such an atrocity. None of us think anything of throwing out an old phone, though. Despite the technological age, we are in, which is dominated by devices that are more accessible and sophisticated than books, we still feel an attachment to books that we do have with these advancements that control life in the 21st century.
There is one minor problem with books…. There may be too many.
I mean, just do the math. Let’s give you 100 years here. That’s being kind, but I am in a good mood, so let’s say you are here till you are 100. Your life will only last that long (if that). And how many books are out there for your curious mind to consume? There are about 130 million books out in the world of laptop computers, cellphones and tablets. So you can read a million books each year of your life until you were one hundred and still not read them all. Yeah, that sounds like that we may be writing a little too many books.
This provides multiple problems for us.
What books do you read? – I mean, I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what to eat for lunch. Should I go with Taco Bell? Are the leftovers going bad? Or should I skip the meal altogether and only go with a protein shake? (My life clearly is dramatic) But how do you or anyone decide on what the good books are to read? What should you learn? Are there specific books that you should read over others? And what is your criteria for that? Did you read a book on criteria to decide the criteria? So in order to know what books you should read, you have to read a book on what to read. Yeah…. My god, it would take years even to compile a good list of books that would help improve your time while here. You may be an adult by the time you learn that you should know some important things while being here. (Who knew?) And let’s face it, by then, you have already learned enough that anything else you learn is just added information, like a roof to the foundation of your already constructed house. The oblivious desperate reader has to rely on know-it-all bloggers and oddly observant reviewers for their suggestions. If the reader wants to save time deciding on the right book to read, that is. But hey, if you want to read books on what books to read, then be my guest.
Where do you put them all? – After a while, there just isn’t any room in your personal library for all the books you want to read. I know mine is more loaded than a revolver. So what gives? Are we all going to be stuck with reading on the modern devices (you know, the ones we break when they are outdated) We could all go to the library, I guess. But then they face the problem we all face. What the heck are we supposed to read? And who decides it again? I don’t know the list or who creates it, but I can tell you that I am probably not on it.
Today there are over 2 million books published each year. I am a book nerd, who enjoys going to Barnes and Noble, receiving a classic book as a birthday gift, and I love reading as much as the next guy, but I am not stupid either (not entirely). I know math, well, you know, enough to leave a good tip at a restaurant and to do simple multiplication in my head. When does it stop? The books, I mean, not my math expertise. That ended a long time ago. When do we say that it is enough? No more books! We have all the books that we need. We can’t even read them all, so what are we doing to make more of them?
You are probably saying that this thought is ludicrous and that our society should always produce books., and then I ask you, “Are you talking about the rapper or the speed?”. After we both agree that the song “Yeah” is much older than we remember and that Space Balls is hysterical; I will quote a few lines from it; as a natural reaction I have to hearing it, we will get back to the original discussion; Books should always be produced by society to advance our arts and understanding and to keep track of those damn taxes. I say, let people write whatever the hell they want to write. Want to write a book about a Cuban beauty? Go crazy, you incoherent creator. Or how about Jews being kicked out of a hotel? Sure, go ahead, you worrisome writer. Or maybe you want to write a book about a day in the life of a Rome soldier? You do you, Caesar. It’s your book. Those are your words. But you got to ask yourself, why are you writing a book that no one is going to read?
No, I am not saying that you stink, lack any understanding of your native language, and fail to compose sentences in a functional yet entertaining format. I am not even saying that the story you created is that bad. There are literally too many other books that people want to read ahead of you that by the time they get to your stuff, you’ll probably be dead, my dude. It’s the year 2021; sorry, the most important books to ever read won’t include your story. There are literally thousands of years of books, and yours won’t make the cut. Sorry, my dude.
You wrote one book this year that resulted in much effort on your end, and you should be proud of yourself. Did you know that over 2 million books are published each year? You tell me the odds that anyone even has time for those fancy words of yours.
The more books that we published, the more we are forced to rank them and make sure that the best ones are being read. We owe it to ourselves to have the best brightest minds be read consistently in order for their wisdom and insight can be transferred over to the newer generations, only for the youth to ignore that very wisdom and insight. If we don’t rank them, if we let people choose, then who knows what the results would be?
The world is full of books, and that is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that many in the world can read many books. So if you wanted to, you could stop reading this right now and find a more important book to help yourself. But why would you do that, right? The curse is that you will never come close to reading all the books that the world has to offer. And that you may spend days of your life reading garbage that only creates obstacles for you and an inflated ego for you to boast around town.
And the weird thing about this whole thing, this isn’t getting any better. We are creating even more books each and every year. For people who love to write books, we should don’t like to read them.
Sorry about the lack of posts this past month. All the bloggers are busy. We'll get more posts up for you in the future.
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About The Blogger
Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.
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