What’s on your bookshelf?

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We all have books we haven’t read don’t we? I think for all of us it is the same. There’s the book I bought on impulse and I was sure I’d read it immediately. Maybe it sat on the coffee table for awhile but ultimately, it moved to the shelf. There are books I’ve picked up at used book sales, great buys, classics, maybe, but somehow I have not read them. Or the book I received at my holiday book exchange, half in fun. Maybe that one’s a little bit racy, or is off-color in some way. I must have laughed when I opened it. Maybe I made a funny comment, and thought at the time that for sure I would read it.

Some of the books on my shelf are ones that a family member has passed along. “It was pretty good,” I was told. “Maybe you’ll like it.” Or, “I loved this! You have to read it right away!” For some reason, these books, regardless of the relative’s review, sit unopened, unread. As time passes, am I any closer to reading them? Ha! Ha! I don’t think so! But I don’t really know why.

Sometimes I fall into a trap. I feel the need to read a difficult book, an educational book, something to get me thinking, keep me sharp. My intentions are always good. I open the cover and try to power through. It’s hard, I discover! Other times I decide to re-read a book I read in college and then discover I have no idea what I am reading. Is it too difficult? Have my tastes changed, dulled into the softer pleasure-reading mode? Has my brain gotten a little mushy? I think so!

I have a special pile of books I definitely want to get to. They look good to me. “That one’s next,” I tell myself. Then something else comes along. It happened again today. I went over to the shelf to pick one of the patiently waiting books and then I remembered the book my mother gave me last week. It’s And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Now those other books will just have to wait a little longer…

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