Sunday, May 16, 2010

Time in a bottle

So I found myself needing to kill 25 minutes this afternoon and a decision to make. I could either go for ice cream and make my son happy (if not messy) or I could wander through a bookstore. Needless to say, I won't be winning any 'Father of the Year' awards after my decision. (Granted, I'd already eliminated myself from contention by failing to take him to the beach or the pool this weekend, which I'm fairly certain is an automatic disqualification for people with easy access to either or both.)

I wander in to a national chain that shall remain nameless (unless they want to pay me for the product placement, I'm nothing if not a sell out) and begin perusing the selections. As you might expect, I wander the store looking for the sports books (particularly the baseball books), and end up missing it on my first trip around the store. In doing so, I inadvertently wandered into the politics section where I, again, realized people who buy books written by political commentators are merely looking for someone to confirm their ideas while attempting to look smart ('Look at me, I read political books even if they're all , I'm smart.') rather than actually seeking well thought out ideas about problems our country faces.

After backtracking a bit, I stumble on the sports section (conveniently not located in the back, where they are in most of the other bookstores I've looked through) where I see several that pique my interest. Among them is a biography on Willie Mays (for my money, the best player who ever lived), a biography on Satchel Paige (which, according to the baseball experts I read online, is supposed to be really good) and a book about a pitcher in 1884 that looked really interesting. And for southeastern North Carolina, there were an inordinate amount of books about the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Then again, they do play Yankees games on the local ESPN radio station for some reason.

From there, I wandered over to the North Carolina section. After all, if I'm going to live here for any length of time, (which I have every intention of doing) I figure I should learn about the state I'm residing in. Of course, a number of the books are about the UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils and, to a lesser extent, the NC State Wolfpack and to a much lesser extent, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. There were also books about ghost stories of North Carolina (not really my bag, baby) and 101 places to see in North Carolina, which seemed somewhat interesting. There was also a book on Fort Fisher, which was one of the last Confederate strongholds in the Civil War, that I think I'd enjoy reading. However, as I'm in the middle of one book, another book on deck and a third book in the hole, I figured it best to not get anything at the moment.

After about a half hour, I proceed to exit the store, but with an odd sense of disappointment. I'd spent 30 minutes in a book store, found at least four or five books I'd enjoy reading, another two or three that I probably need to read, all while only looking at two sections. I can't imagine the number of books I'd actually find that I'd want to read if I spent a significant amount of time perusing the selection. I quickly came to the realization that there were far more books that I'd want to read then there is time for me to actually read them.

So alas, I'll continue to plod along, slowly, through the books I want to read knowing full well there is an mountain of knowledge out in the world that I'll never take the time to learn. I'll just keep adding to my list of books I'd like to read much faster than I knock them out. But that's ok with me. After all, there are times ice cream is probably the better choice than a book.

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