To-Be-Read: A Story of Shame & Neglect

I have a theory that everyone is shamefully hiding the stack of books they’ve neglected to read this year from the world.

“It’s not my fault!” one might say, “Some were incredibly thoughtful gifts; some were found while innocently scouring the Friends‘ collection; and some were impulse buys that I’m definitely, absolutely going to find the time to read. Very soon. Probably.”

It often takes big life stuff and its looming deadlines to force that to-read list out of the shadows. I’m down to a three-month wire, and can see the time that I have to read for my own enjoyment shrinking away by the moment. There’s a big, beautiful stack of books in front of me demanding I visit their pages. Six books in three months — game on!

Finally, I’m motivated. Finally, I’m going to dedicate my free time to these select, wonderful books. Finally, I’m … totally distracted and eating at Aladdin Cafe, dreaming about living on falafel and baba ghanoush for ten days straight. You know, I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt …

Before I know it, there are four holds waiting for me at the library. I’m face first in some super-dense texts on varying aspects of Ancient Egyptian society, culture, mythology, etc., and I’ve jumped onto Mango Languages to learn some casual Egyptian Arabic in a manic learning spree. My own books, yet again, fallen to the wayside.

Sure, I know better. I’m allegedly an adult. And yet I’m still likely to collect books, feeling certain that I’ll read them. I’ll collect them, and they will continue to stack up and up while I obsessively dive into random topics.

Always remember: Your personal stack of books may haunt your dreams, but your desire to skip them is valid, and we’re here for you.

— Logan Isaman is the community assessment coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library.