“…ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them. So I have erected one of his dwellings, with books as the building stones, before you, and now he is going to disappear inside, as is only fitting.”
Gabe's problem: a library of far too many books that he hasn't even read. Of course this is one of the best "problems" to have and I'm sure many of us can relate. Gabe ends the piece on a cheerful note:
"A library of mostly unread books is far more inspiring than a library of books already read. There’s nothing more exciting than finishing a book, and walking over to your shelves to figure out what you’re going to read next.
So, the solution here is to just slow down on the buying, not cut it out entirely, which means things like limiting myself to one book per bookstore visit. As I start to chip away at the huge list of Books I Want To Read, I’m sure that list will deepen and broaden in ways I can’t predict, so eventually the library may be more balanced and not so skewed toward books I haven’t read, but it will never be fixed row of read books. Libraries aren’t meant to be intractable, they’re meant to change, and they change by buying books. As long as I don’t trip over those piles of books on my floor and break my leg, it seems to me that having too many books on your hands is a pretty wonderful problem to have."