Long Live Reading: Are There Too Many Books in the World?
There is a library within walking distance of my house. Can I tell you how much I love that there is a library within walking distance of my house? It’s pretty small, so not much to choose from, but I can request books by putting them on hold. It takes a few days to a week for the book to arrive, but once I receive an email announcing my hold item is available, I don my backpack and headphones and walk a mile to the library, usually stopping by my favorite coffee shop along the way.
As a writer, the fact there are so many books in the world can be discouraging. Why would anyone want to read my book when there are so many books to read?
But as a reader, I love that there are so many books in the world. I’ll never, ever run out of books to read.
Usually I read books of the young adult fantasy or science fiction genre. But often I’ll branch out. The other day I read a book about a girl who was reincarnated. I kept waiting for her reincarnation to be debunked by science, but it never was. She was literally reincarnated.
Except it was fiction, so she wasn’t actually. But while I was reading, it was totally real.
After I moved houses for the second time, I switched to predominantly electronic books and libraries. Moving books is painful. They are so heavy and take up a lot of space. Libraries saved my life (and my budget). However, as I slowly whittled down my library to a manageable moving capacity, I never once thought I had too many books.
There are some who say reading is dying out. But I don’t believe it ever will. There are just so many book. There wouldn’t be this many books if there weren’t people to read them. Human beings love stories, and while TV and movies (and video games) tell stories, there’s a depth of story and character development that only comes from books. And audio books are about as popular as podcasts, so no, reading will never die.
Libraries are as cherished and popular as ever. Especially now that you can access digital books and audio books for free through library apps (a feature I still haven’t learned).
I suppose as a writer, I shouldn’t be worried about the number of books in the world. For every writer is also a reader and will always need more material to read, as well as to write.
There will never be too many books.