I think most people who love literature have a to-read pile of books waiting for them, but Kirsty Logan takes it to a whole other level in her article for The Millions, where she proudly boasts owning 800 unread books. Yes, 800, unread—I don’t think 800 books could even fit inside my apartment!
I can understand Kirsty’s reasoning behind not reading a book because she knows she’ll end up loving it—though nonsensical, I do this all the time, too. I buy books knowing from reviews, word of mouth, or simply because of its author, that I’ll love reading it, and so I leave them on my shelves for months before I sit down with them. A reader’s comment on her article puts it perfectly: it’s like “savoring the thrill of the unopened present on Christmas morning,”—I get that. But, I do eventually read these books.
What I don’t understand is Kirsty not reading books because she simply worries they’re not the books she thinks they are. I think when it comes to reading, it’s good to have certain expectations, but choosing not to read books because we have expectations and fear disappointment, seems to me, to be a little drastic. Kirsty Logan’s article is titled “The Joy of Unread Books,” but I see no joy in collecting shelves full of books and refusing to read them.
Do you side with Kirsty on this one? Have you ever not read a book simply because you thought your expectations were too high? And if so, what book was it?