There's a pile of books beside my bed. And near the couch in the lounge. Oh yes in the study there's another small pile. The favorite ones take pride of place in a special cupboard just for them. Others sit in various bags, always with the intention of taking them with me to read on my next train trip.
So it's clear that books are a fairly big part of my life. They are ever present. They take up quite a bit of space and at times can look a bit messy. They often have book marks in them. A sign that there has been some engagement with the book, and, importantly, an intention to return to it. It's just that another book may have captured my attention before I returned.
So it was with great pleasure over the holiday period when I finished a book. Actually it wasn't just one book but two books completely read from start to finish over the two week period. I had forgotten that weird feeling as you approach the end of a book that you are enjoying. The sense of completion that is starting to emerge but the simultaneous sense of dissatisfaction that the book you are enjoying so much will be ending soon.
Then there's the question of what to do with the book when it's completed. Where should it go in the house? In the special book cupboard? Is it special enough for that cupboard? In a bookshelf blending in with the others? Or perhaps handed over to someone else who might also enjoy it?
Then of course there's the decision about which book to choose next. Perhaps it's preplanned and waiting already. Perhaps it's connected to the book just completed, a similar style or subject matter. Sometimes it might be a completely random choice depending upon how my mood takes me. Something light and refreshing. Something funny. Something very serious and complicated.
The best thing about books is that we will always have more to read. Finish one and the next one is waiting. Feel like something different and there's another one just sitting there waiting to be picked up. It's just a question of privileging enough time each day to make sure it happens. Finding a way to gain that satisfaction of finishing a book again, not just on holidays. Now there's the real challenge.