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  • Writer's picturegalpod

So Much Content

Updated: Jan 31

Hello! I'm experimenting with blogging every day. Because I'm very new to this, I need your help. Please take a minute to drop me a line and let me know what you think. I will post stories, thoughts, and possibly recipes (if I'm having an off day). Here's the post for today.

I grew up in a small village in which everyone knew everyone. Our library consisted of two bedrooms lined with bookshelves, and a third with a desk and some bean bags. I spent most of my afternoons and evenings in those three rooms, reading. As soon as I was old enough, I got a job helping our librarian wrap every new book in a plastic cover. At some point in high school, I was entrusted with the check-out and return process, but it was because the librarian knew me for years at this point.

A little while later, I started my undergraduate studies at Tel Aviv University. There was a small library for social sciences in which I spent most of my first semester. At some point, I needed a book from the main library. Remember the scene from Beauty and the Beast when Belle sees the Beast's library for the first time? That was me. I wandered around the shelves all day, stopping to read on a whim. I was sitting behind a rack and reading when my cell phone rang. It was at a time when there were no rules about cell phones in libraries. I answered. It was my life partner (I called him my boyfriend back then).

"What's up?"

"Where are you?"

"At the library, why?"

"Because it's 9 pm. When do they close?"

"Oh, shit."

Yup. I looked around, and it was empty. I jumped up and ran to the lobby and luckily found the night guard who gave me a 15-minute lecture before he let me out.

I was crying by the time I got home. I wasn't upset at the prospect of spending a night at the library. I was crying because that was the first time I realised I would never be able to read everything. I've been warring with my desire to read everything ever since.

I love to read. I spend a lot of my time reading, even labels of cereal boxes. I love reading books, but I also have a paid subscription and read articles on Medium, Aeon, and the Guardian. When I was doing my PhD, I remember a lab meeting in which our supervisor gave each student papers to read on their research topic. When she got to me, she said, "Gal, you are not reading this week. You've read enough. It's time to write."

More than 50,000 articles are being published on Medium every week. Meanwhile, the average book production is 755,755 per year (based on the years 2011-2013, I believe). I'm never reading everything. Even if I gave up everything else, including my kids, I still wouldn't be able to read everything. And I'm not giving up my kids (in case you were wondering).

I have no answers. I have no eight easy steps plan to read all the books. I read as much as I can, whenever I can. I always have either a paperback or my Kindle with me. I bookmark stuff or save them to Pocket to read later. Sometimes that "later" is never. And it breaks my heart every time.

What's on your reading list?

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