On Goodreads there’s a feature called currently reading where you can track the book you’re currently reading even down to the page number. I have never used this feature. I rarely get around to adding new books to Goodreads, let alone currently reading, and I have realized, I will never get around to adding every book I own or every book I have ever read. How could I possibly remember?
My perfectionist mind would love to keep track of everything like this, but I couldn’t possibly keep track, I don’t get around to it often enough, and I would never be able to sit down, backtrack and remember all the books I borrowed, bought and otherwise came across in my life. How great would it be, though, to have such a list?
Just like scents, books carry memories. I have memories colored by the book I was reading when they happened, and certain events in my life are remembered with the mood brought to me by stories I was experiencing by reading them at that certain time. I’m sure you know what I mean. Seeing a book cover will instantly bring back memories and moods from that time, and I know that just like scents, songs and places, books will never be able to escape the time in which they were read.
Currently reading; yes, seeing the cover of the Never-ending Story, I’m instantly transported to my childhood room in Odense, bed lamp on, shelf above the bed with a few books, a glass of water, tiny window letting in the grayish light of late dusk, the feeling of holding up the heavy volume, reading fast knowing my mom would soon call out for lights out.
In Odense many years later, rushing off in the morning on my bike to get to work by 8, too little sleep again, nights full of Anne Rice’s amazing vampires. Another time, in the apartment I shared with my sister, the feeling of a sun-ray through the window on my feet, half-lying on the black couch, reading Harry Potter and not bothering to hide my tears when Snape died, my sister would understand too well how my heart could break from a story. Another time, another world, sitting on the garden stairs, late spring blooming, green everywhere, the first roses and cherry blossoms, reading Karen Blixen, the garden in my teen home earlier on, a blanket on the grass, reading Ib Michael, the train to Odense, reading Tolstoy, the sofa corner at uni, reading Chekhov, the apartment in Århus, reading Auster, reading Tolle, reading, always reading.
At the moment, I have Irving on the sofa table, Murakami on the shelf, Munroe on the nightstand alongside Nabokov, Chekhov, Zafon and a bunch of unopened ones. The never-ending story of books, the never-ending to-read list. What a wonderful world.