So Much to Read, So Little Time: A Senior’s Dilemma

Jul 20th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The number of books, poems, essays, documents, emails, unearthed pieces kept in boxes too long seem to multiply by the year.  

This is the year I have committed to sort through all the files of sermons preached, letters received, clippings saved, quotes cataloged for almost 50 years. 

I have referenced many of them over the years.  The time grows short so that the time has come to sort and eliminate.  My sentimental nature fights me every step of the way, but I dare not leave this task to others in the family. Frankly, it might be good for them just to know the kind of stuff I found useful, inspirational and worth keeping for so long.

Even the books on the shelves cry out for more recognition and use.  Some have traveled around the country with us over 5 states.  They cost a lot to move, because they are so heavy.  But their heaviness also suggests their value, if you consider them by the pound. 

So the casting out continues.  Just the other day I had tossed something, I later regretted.  Before the bin was emptied, I carefully retrieved it.  That isn’t helpful to the process, but it tells you how hard it is. 

Of course, the other roadblock to accomplishing this laboriously unsatisfying undertaking is that so much of it has to be reread, renewed in my memory before deciding what stack it ends up in. 

Reading is one of the rich joys of living.  I am so bad, I read labels, search for something nearby the toilet to read when I am delayed, am tempted when passing bookstores or magazine racks.  I have accumulated old magazines for so long, they are beginning to be worth more than their original price.  And, I am a sucker for original editions.

While all of this seems like a dilemma, it is really a gift.  It is a gift to be curious, to be drawn to books and magazines and newspapers and now the internet.  The good news is the internet helps avoid the temptation of copying and keeping quite so much. If the internet had come along earlier my task of sorting would be less cumbersome.  However, I note we keep all the posts posted for Senior Citizens Journal.  At least cyber saving doesn’t take up a lot of room in closets or garage.  I also don’t have to admit or be coached into a lot of deleting. 

I just wish I had a button to push for all these file boxes.  It would be easier, but somehow I don’t think quite so much fun.



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