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The Library of Unread Books

John W. Pinkerton


While I was lying around a hospital last week,  I had an unusual thought.  I have them occasionally and often find them refreshing.

My thought was the following: “What  if there were a library of unread books?  What would that be like?”

I've got several books I've written, and I'm relatively certain some have never had their front covers separated from their title pages.

I'm also relatively certain that I'm not the only author to experience this.  A lack of public promotion skills is one of my problems.  I could get help with this, but…I'm a tightwad and don't want to spend my money to beg folks to purchase my books.  Also, all of my written works---essays, short fictional stories and poetry---are on my website magazine, http://oldartguy.com/Home_1.html.  I just can't bring myself to remove them from the site just because they also appear in book form.  The book form does, however, make them a little easier to access, and I'm sure there are some dinosaurs who still prefer the book format (Bless your hearts.).

Although I would like folks to read my books, it ain't real important to me.  I'm a guy whose priorities lie with the doing, the producing of a product, the work.  After I've done my job, well, your participation is optional.

I think I have five books now and I really like my most recent one.  When I was putting together Old Guy Does Fiction and Poems and Essays I was not feeling well and the first author copy of the book I received reflected the handicap of my illnesses.  Fortunately I was ill enough to be admitted to a hospital for eight days which gave me plenty of time to review and, hopefully, improve my newest book. 

By the way, I do not think of my books as my children---that would be way too much trouble…and a little creepy.  I think of them as interesting old friends I occasionally converse with…wait, that's a little creepy also.

Yeah, about that library of unread books, reminds me a little of my time, ten years, as district librarian for the local public school.  In ten years, I think I only had one real reader in high school who checked out books on a regular basis…bless her heart.  I honestly tried to promote reading by the student body…it just wasn't going to happen. Hey, there's my library of unread books.

Growing up and until I became a teacher, I was a great reader of books, magazines, and road signs.  Teaching, because of the extensive reading and studying required, took a lot away from my personal selection of reading material.

Reading is not the same as watching TV or a movie or emojis.  You can watch these without actively engaging one's mind.  Reading is a full on engagement.

I won't insist that you read my books, but, please, read someone's book or write your own.