842 – All Good Books

I am 44 now, 45 in 27 days. That’s as good a time as any to ponder about mortality, right?

Fact is, that I read about 20 books a year. Let’s be generous, let’s make this a whopping 33.3 or 100 in three years. This is a pretty optimistic average, but let’s pretend that when I retire, I will begin to read like mad.

Fine. That makes 1000 books in 30 years, 1500 books in 45 years. Now, you may remember that I mentioned some 3000+ books that we had to move to Villach and to shelve alphabetically. Begin to see the problem?

Of course there’s about more than half of the books that I won’t bother reading anyway. Many were not bought by me, many even are heirlooms. Hey, we even have an original copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, and I have read that. Interesting thought that someone could have read this book and later pretend, he had not known what Hitler would do. But that’s another story.

And that’s not even all. There are some hundreds of books more in Vienna, and each year I buy about two thirds of the books that I read, thus the collection constantly grows. At the moment there is quite some shelf space left, but I guess this won’t last for more than three years.

It’s not only books either. Have you learned all the languages that you wanted to learn? Seen all the movies you wanted to see? Visited all the places that you want to visit? Heard all the music you wanted to hear? Been in all the museums and collections where your favorite painter’s images hang?

And if not, and if you’re brutally honest, do you believe you have any chance? How do you cope with that? How do you cope with the problem of a finite lifespan?

And are these not the very questions that make us ponder much too much about facts that are set, facts that we have no chance to influence, at least not in a decisive way? Is the answer to not care about it? But if we don’t care, are we even able to value? And if we don’t value what we have and do, who should?

For some people religion is the answer, and that’s indeed tempting, because it allows to pretend that the problem does not even exist. After all, there must be pretty much time to read books in eternity, huh?

And creativity? Art? It’s a way to leave something behind, isn’t it? It’s pretty sure that many more people know Vincent Van Gogh than ever knew him during all his lifetime. Do we create for eternity? And did he?

All of today’s images were shot in my living room in Villach, because weather was about as disgusting as yesterday and I did not want to go out. I used the Sigma 20/1.8, handheld at f1.8.

The Song of the Day is “All Good Books” from Paul Weller’s 2003 album “Illumination”. See a video on YouTube.

5 thoughts on “842 – All Good Books”

  1. I can’t imagine any piece of furniture that I enjoy more than a shelf full of books. They add soo much to any (living) room, even without scrutinising their content. How boring, cold and sterile is any computer-workplace in comparision!

    Great photos! As for the anxiety of not being able to read “everything”: I really enjoy that! We never have to fear that we’re running out of interesting material to read πŸ™‚

    My only real book-anxiety: that ebooks will actually take off. Tthat would be a real desaster in terms of atmosphere. With real books, I only need to restrain myself a bit – so I’m not buying more than twice the number of books than I read. That’s hard…

  2. Ah, good to be not alone πŸ™‚

    As to ebooks, I actually like them, just as I like OGG files, and although all the music that I hear is from OGG files, I have all that on CD. It’s a bit like trophy hunting, I fear, but it IS nice to have them on one’s shelf.

  3. I fall in a similar question last year, and I’m just 22 years old!
    I know that it’s impossible to me visit/see/learn everything I want. At the same time, I know that appreciate is something that needs to take much time… So what to do?!

    Today I think is better don’t do everything I really want, but what I can do, do it at the best way possible…

    [I tried to be understandable, but if I don’t, tell me, so i could find other words… I’m still learning english (actually I discovered I can’t even say that I know my mother language, Portuguese…)]

  4. Campinas. I’ve just looked at it in Google Maps, seen some photos, looked it up in Wikipedia, wow, that’s a pretty big city for having been completely under my radar.

    And you have summer πŸ™‚

    Yes, I guess it’s all about choices, making them, doing the best one can. As I recently said, a friend of mine scolded me for not going to the movies any more, not having seen any of today’s artsy films, but it’s a choice. I read a bit and I photograph a lot. I blog about it. That’s approximately what a man can do πŸ™‚

  5. Andreas: That’s an impressive collection of books. I, too, love to read and it is a constant sense of wonder to people that I don’t watch television or read the news. I prefer books and am rarely without one to read. I, though, make good use of the library. In my car, it’s books on CD. In the house, some fiction book or another. One can get so absorbed with good writing.

    Also, like you, I’m either out with my camera, blogging, or as of late, practicing my harmonica while I listen to blues. Other than that, it’s either heading to work or heading home.

    I’ve not learned another language, completely, but I can get around in Brazilian Portuguese. My wife is Brazilian and her parents don’t speak more than 2 words of English. So, I need to be able to speak more than a few words of Portuguese! Oh, and I’ll be 47 on the 20th of February!

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