John Seiffer:  “You haven’t posted a time-waster in a while – here’s a great one.  Use the arrow keys to get it to move.”


My newest “book on tape” is The Year of Reading Dangerously read to me — delightfully — by the author himself in the Audible edition. (The little “ding!” he employs to signify a footnote may itself be worth that format’s higher price.)  And it was there my ears stumbled on this quote . . .

“It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them. But one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents.”

. . . from Schopenhauer — Schopenhauer! — who was way too famous (or just too German?) for anyone to use his first name (Arthur) . . . written in — and this is the part that floored me — 1851.  More than 150 years ago!  Long before the effortless one-clicking on Amazon, yet his essay addressed — at least glancingly — the same problem I have:  I buy too many books / can’t help myself / bursting at the seams with them / may someday soon be murdered by a tower of them toppling onto my head / even sometimes buy the physical book after “reading” the Audible version, to have it tangibly in my home (they should offer a discount for that)* — yet, and this is the punch line you surely knew was coming:  can’t begin to find time to read most of them.  Maybe one in 20.

My intentions are always good.  I generally mean to read them.  But I am a horribly slow reader and have so little time in the first place given my extensive responsibilities to Words With Friends.  (“Damn you, Zynga!” [right fist and eyes upraised to the heavens, ala Jon Stewart].)

But now, at least, I’ve “read” one sentence of Schopenhauer.  I may tackle Nietzsche next.


*Ding!  I put quotes around “reading” because it always made Charles crazy when I said I had “read” something I had actually listened to.  A voracious eyeball reader, he would have none of my protest that, yes, I had read it, just through a different portal.




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