I took a good, hard look at my bookshelf today and asked myself why I even bothered salvaging the seven hardcover Tom Clancy novels I had noticed in a neat stack on the corner of 32nd Street and Ditmars in Astoria, Queens nine years ago. I have had all seven for nearly a decade, but I have never even considered opening one, and I very much doubt I ever will read any of them. Yet there they are – a row of massive, bulky rectangles lined up on the shelf next to my desk. And Tom Clancy is but the tip of the iceberg. Here is a brief list of other questionable books I picked up somewhere in the past and took home with me under the delusion that I might one day read them:
- Five Acres and Independence, M.G Kairns
- Cancer Free!
- The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
- The Portable Atheist, Christopher Hitchens
- The Girl Who Kicked People in the Face (or whatever the exact titles of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy are).
- Stitch n Bitch: The Complete Knitter’s Handbook
- Ronald Reagan: An American Life
- How to Make the Stock Market Make Money for You
- Margaret Thatcher: The Path to Power
- The Complete Guide to Import/Export
- About 100 Harlequin romances not even my wife will touch
- Eisenhower at War
- A half-dozen novels by Robert Ludlum
- The Secret Lives of John Lennon
- The Window Style Book
And at least fifty other titles I will likely never, ever read. Well, I may glance at the atheist books just to get a feel for the arguments, and I could read a Ludlum book in the summer sometime, but somehow I just cannot foresee myself ever settling down into a chair to flip through The Window Style Book.
If I still lived in America or Canada, I would try to sell these books, or I would simply give them to some charity shop, but I live in Hungary now, which means Eat to Beat Cancer and Hammer! by Armand Hammer will probably stay on my shelves until I die.