Don’t Feel Bad About The Books You’ve Bought But Haven’t Read

In today’s busy world, powering down at night with a book is a true act of leisure. No matter if you’re reading a detail-rich historical biography, a self-help book on finance, or the latest whodunit, reading can be a wonderfully relaxing and enriching pastime.

Opening up a book is also a great way to achieve happiness and knowledge, and can help you earn more in your career and boost your health. At least that’s what many scientists have found. But no matter what your drive is behind reading, the experts agree that it’s just important that you do.

If you’re like me, browsing through the aisles of the local bookstore on the lookout for your next favorite novel can itself be a treat. I usually come away with at least one bag of literary goodies. But will I read all of them? Or will they simply collect dust on my bookshelves? Well, it depends.

We bibliophiles can be hard on ourselves for not reading every single book we collect. But it’s time to put down that burden. Buying books that you never read doesn’t mean you’re lazy or unintelligent or undisciplined. As it turns out, it means you’re curious. And that’s a good thing.

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Case in point – Italian writer Umberto Eco is said to have had a library which contained over 30,000 volumes. Eco was known as a brilliant thinker and wonderful writer, but there is no way he could have read all of those books. Was he lazy? No. He was curious.

What’s more, Eco’s library was a symbol – a reminder to stay hungry for knowledge, that he didn’t know everything there is to know in this world and that he never would. If you have an ever-expanding collection of books, then maybe you can let go of any regret for not reading all of them (yet) into a feeling of pleasure in how curious you are, too.

Think about it. Those books on your shelves are symbolic of so many positive things. Not only are you curious, you are ambitious, value knowledge and love learning. While you may not have read all of the books you own, you have read some of them. And something moved you to purchase every single volume in your personal collection.

Like Eco, let them be a reminder that there is a tremendous amount of knowledge to glean in this lifetime, and that there are things you know, things you don’t, things you only half-know, and things you think you know but will later learn are wrong. Plain and simple, your library is a reminder to stay hungry and to stay humble.

So, don’t beat yourself up for buying too many books. Instead of a sign of ignorance or failure, your overstuffed bookshelves should be displayed with pride.

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