Never Enough Time

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I went looking for W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz yesterday, and of course it was buried. There are thirteen bookshelves in my diminutive house and all of them are double stacked—triple, if physics allows—and this despite the fact that I take an alarming number of books to the local library for broader circulation. Even more alarming, I don't consider myself to be sufficiently well read. Or perhaps I read too many genres to have ever specialized in one. I love experts. I wish I were one. I'm not.

In any case, in the course of hunting for Austerlitz, I fell upon The History of Love, the Colum McCanns, the Rebecca Solnits, the complete Cathers, The Book of Salt and The Night Watch, The Optimist's Daughter, The Awakening, and I was Amelia Earhart, and when my husband found me fortressed in by a tower of books and asked (inevitably), "What are you doing?" I looked up and said, "Oh, Bill, I love these books, I love these books." With tears in my eyes that I had not known were there.

Tears because some of my dearest titles have grown slightly vague in my mind. Tears because I can no longer recite some of my favorite lines. Tears because I've just bought three new books for me along with so many books for others—books I have not, in some cases, yet read. Tears because I'm reading Brideshead Revisited for the very first time—the first time!—and when will I have time to read again my favorite books?

Why isn't there ever enough time?

We will take our son to the university bus today, and he will be driven, along with some of his classmates, north, returning for his first set of college finals. He will come home again two weeks from now. We'll miss him in the meantime.

Separately, unexpectedly, yesterday I discovered that a blog reviewer whom I've always admired had this to say about HOUSE OF DANCE. Thank you, Becky of Becky's Book Reviews. Thank you so much.


Emily said...

Mm, revisiting the classics are always such amazing times. But, don't you absolutely love getting something new to read!? A new discovery, a new adventure! That part always gets me excited.

PJ Hoover said...

First - what a wonderful review!
And I couldn't agree more on the time thing. I see all these wonderful books from my childhood, but I just can't re-read them all. I'd have time for nothing else. And my TBR stack grows daily with amazing books just waiting!

Becca said...

The older I get, the more frantic I feel about getting all the books read, all the music learned (or at least, heard!), all the places seen...oh, there is just too much, and never enough time!

Em said...

Just think, though, how comforting it is to be surrounded by books you love. What a perfect way to spend an afternoon! :)

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, the time struggle is burying me right now. That's why I've been so behind on my comments, actually...I've fallen behind and refuse to give up anything. How long can that last?

Hope you had a splendid Thanksgiving with your son home!

:^) Anna

Beth Kephart said...

Anna, I miss you, but I understand completely. Do what you need to do. Your presence on this blog, or on any other, is always a gift.

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