Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Books I Almost Read

"So many books, so little time." That phrase is bandied about on t-shirts, bumper stickers and stationary sold at librarian conventions or hawked on bookbags for public television fundraisers. I've always found it smug and annoying. If I put that phrase on my car bumper, my kids would refuse to ride in the car. It conveys an image of librarians that librarians claim to try to avoid (bookish, dweeby, bespectacled etc.) I do like the image (minus the smug phrase) of the old-fashioned, shushing librarian with her nose in a book and hair in a bun, and think the profession should embrace it, embrace the kitschy irony of it. Irony because librarians today spend their days with noses, not in books, but pointed toward the computer screen where we blog and Twitter and Facebook and Google and search databases and make websites and email newsletters and answer questions by email, chat reference, cell phone texting, podcasting and so on. Our days are electronic, our commutes may be enlivened by audiobooks, but I suspect that most librarians revert to good old books in the evenings, on our own time. Which is where I meant to start this post: books I almost read or almost finished or mean to read someday. The fact is, obnoxious as it is to proclaim on a t-shirt, it is true that there are so many books and limited time, that as the years slip by, I am more willing to set aside a book that is taking too long to read . Weeks go by in which not a single book seems "finishable" and then one comes along that I wish would never end. Those are the one I review on this blog. What are your favorite books that you wished would never end?

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