Monday, 2 March 2015

P.R.B.S. (Partly Read Book Syndrome) - Fear not, for there is a cure.

I have over 400 books. That's over a quarter of a century worth of purchased (or recieved) paper, ink, binding material and lord knows what else, in my possession. And true to form, I still smell a book when I pick it up, wether old or new and wether it's mine or not.

Now unlike mymusic collection, which is even bigger, I've rarely loaned or given my books away. I'm not sure wether that's a reflection of my peer group, or just feeling more attached to my books ( I'm not a psychologist per se, so no idea what deeper meaning that may have, if any) than to other things from my archival 'stock', but I'm straining to remember when I've lost one from the collection. However, I have given new books to people when it felt appropriate, but again, it's been a rare occurrence for whatever reason, compared to other gifts.

In any event, having a large collection of books is something I'm proud of. Not just to show others what I've amassed knowledge-wise over the years, although that's an obvious side effect, but more to remind me on occasion of all the stuff I've learned about and moved onwards with, in my journey of life. One day, I'll get a library-style scenario going, with a bookshelf large enough to accomodate them all, with a view that friends and family can pick one up and 'have a browse', maybe wanting to borrow one for a read-through. For now, it's satisfying to know that they've all been read, finished and put away in the right place(s), and they've all been a source of joy, learning and entertainment.

Until now, that is. Because what's happened in the last few years, is that I've picked up more books on my travels and on recommendations, than I've had time to read.

More importantly, there's become a 'scattered gallery' of partly read books, littered around various locations in my house. In fact, at present there are more than six of them. That's not good, and I've got to do something about this :-

Some of the books caught up in this affliction, yesterday.

P.R.B.S. as I've called it, can be cured. And there's more than one way to cure it. The solutions are :-

a) Schedule a 'finish up' time per book, and work through the 'partly-reads' consecutively. For example, usually, I can finish a book within a month. That's discipline, dilligence and dedication for you.

b) if a) just isn't doable ( the reasons for this alone would make an article, but let's stick with the notion for the sake of making a valid point), then sell it or give it away to someone else.

Better still, ask others in a similar boat (it's not something everyone would readily admit to being afflicted by, so tread gently), if they'd like to swap theirs for yours.

Is b) a surprise? It shouldn't be.

In this age of people ( myself included) doing a lot of info-grabbing on the internet using either a laptop, tablet or their smartphones, when was the last time you recived a book as a gift?

Or more interestingly, when was the last time you gave someone a book? Maybe we're all starting to think it's a bit gauche or old fashioned these days, due to the aforementioned reasons.

That'd be a shame, cause if someone gave me a book, which has happened sporadically over the years, I do cherish them. Even the ones I wouldn't want to immediately pick up and read if specifically looking for new reading materal, I'll have a go at assimilating and give them the 'two chapter test'.

In short, if it can sustain my interest through the first two chapters in any way, I'll hang on to it or just plough through it, stopping to savour chapters with a glass of wine or crisps get the idea.

And it's that aforementioned combination of why reading a book 'the old school way', with the slight whiff of pulped paper, ink and print/binding stuff, whilst having some nibbles or a drink of some sort, still has enormous appeal. I still do it, but my time is eaten up by distractions of a social and/or work related nature. As a result, P.R.B.S is becoming a small epidemic in my house. So, it's either a) or b) for me..and soon.

What about you? If you're a book lover, have you read all the ones in your possession?

If not, then what do you do with the 'partly-read's ' ?

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