The Virtue of Unread Books | Story Warren

The Virtue of Unread Books | Story Warren.

book shelves-2I appreciated this brief post (July 14, 2014) justifying having many unread books on one’s shelf. It is a question I have often heard myself: “Have you read all these books that you have?” My answer has always been, “No, but I plan to over time. I grab a good book whenever I can, and save it for the right time.”

Besides, having more books than you read allows you to loan them to others who may see one on your shelf and desire to read it. And, I always view the type of books I look for now as resources or reference tools. Maybe I don’t read them right away, but I have them handy when I need them.

And, if you are a father or grandfather, you will also appreciate the opportunity these “extra” books afford you for teachable moments for your children and grandchildren (for that benefit, read on).

If you are also a book collector – and reader! – and feeling guilty about having so many unread books in your possession, read this and feel better about it. And don’t stop accumulating good books. Of course, you also want to press on in reading as many of them as you possibly can. 🙂

Here is the beginning of the post; to read the rest visit the link above.

My oldest son stood spellbound in front of shelves that must have seemed endlessly high and wide from his small vantage. The Study was a familiar room to him, one he often requisitioned for all manner of creative projects and mischief. The surrounding mass of books had been nothing more than background scenery. I’m not sure what triggered it, but today he took them all in spine by spine.

I watched inconspicuously from my desk as he fingered past the precious and brittle volumes inherited from my grandfather, the preacher. He stared happily at the colorful set of Calvin & Hobbes compendiums, then glassed over a bit when he got to the dense rows of muted color that marked the theology section. Pausing for a moment, he took note of interesting molecular shapes and anatomical poses on the spines of the medical textbooks. He lingered longest in the fiction section, excitedly recognizing a few titles that we’ve read aloud as a family. Just when I began to self-indulge in the sentiment of the moment, he posed the question that had been brewing in his head.

“Dad, have you actually read all these?” There was no effort whatsoever to hide his incredulity.

And so I was brought rudely back from my parental reverie. After his grand tour through the titles that mean so much to me, his first reaction was to question whether or not I was using them for their intended purpose. Fair enough.

Taking the accusation in stride, I confessed that no, I have not read every book in our library. Sensing his disapproval, I felt the need to defend myself use this as a teachable moment.