Time Enough at Last! (or not…)

I’m drowning in books!  My nightstand barely has space for my alarm clock and a drink.  Behold Exhibit A:

That overflowing purple box is filled with books and those are paperbacks climbing my wall like a creeping vine.

And that doesn’t even account for what’s on my Kindle or what I’ve pre-ordered.

Speaking of pre-ordering, I just attempted to pre-order a book I’d already pre-ordered.  I guess I REALLY want that book.

Alas my eyes are bigger than my mouth.  No, that’s not right.  My brain is bigger than my eyes.  Not right either.  What’s the correct term for wanting to HAVE read vs. being able TO read?  If there isn’t already a term for the disconnect that leads to hoarding of intellectual materials, we need to come up with one.

How about:  bibliohoardapath? First, a disclaimer.  I did not take Greek or Latin so there are probably much better root words to use that what I’ve chosen.  Feel free to comment and make your own suggestions.

Bibliohoardapath /bib-lee-oh-hord-uh-path/, n. one whose acquisition and consumption speeds of the written word are significantly out of sync; bibliohoardapathology– n. the mindless acquisition of books at a pace far outstripping the ability to consume; bibliohoardapathetic– adj. the state of being a bibliohoardapath or exhibiting characteristics of such; Antonym–Anbibliopath, one who is starving for lack of books. (shudder)

Why aren’t there enough hours in the day to read?

I love that old Twilight zone episode with Burgess Meredith, “Time Enough At Last“.  He’s this bookish little man with absolutely no social skills whatsoever.  If he had his way, all the people of the world would vanish, leaving him with all the time in the world and nothing to do but read.

Careful what you wish for, because that’s exactly what happens.  Only, Rod Serling added a cruel twist.  After Burgess’s character realizes the world’s population except for him has been decimated, he rubs his hands together and organizes his reading materials.  While crowing about his good fortune, however, he drops and shatters his glasses on a rock.  He is the only man alive, surrounded by books, but no ability to see to read them. Classic Twilight Zone at its finest.

So, re-evaluating, better to be a bibliohoardapath than an anbibliopath; and time is a precious commodity to be enjoyed at its own pace and divided healthfully between that which must be done and that which one yearns to do.

But do make sure you bring your e-reader or at least a massive suitcase full of paperback books the next time you hide out in a bank’s vault when thermonuclear war is brewing.  Make sure you have an extra pair of glasses too.

8 thoughts on “Time Enough at Last! (or not…)

  1. *stares at screen*

    So you’re point is that we should all get corrective eye surgery in case we wind up the last person on Earth?


    He should have thought about investing in books on tape…

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