Pity the poor bibliophile who caves in to every temptation to buy a book whenever a new catalogue arrives in the mail, when he strolls through the local bookstore or surfs Amazon.com or the numerous websites of publishing companies or university presses. He knows every discount catalogue by name and saves all the promotional coupons from every chain bookstore in town.
He has probably read a review of a book, no, many books, by someone he respects. Or maybe he has really, truly read another book by the same author and was duly impressed. He might even have read a book on the same subject and harbors a theoretical resolve to deepen his knowledge on the subject.[. . .]
So the books keep piling up. First, every inch of every bookshelf is filled. After that, the books are stacked up on top of the bookcases. Then books are placed sideways in front of the books on the shelves. Books get stacked up on chairs, under side tables, on the floor in corners, even under the bed or dresser. They accumulate in boxes and in every nook and cranny in the house.
The bibliophile, not unlike a stealthy alcoholic, starts sneaking books into the house and stashing them away, sometimes wrapping them up as Christmas gifts with a card indicating they are from some other random member of the household.
There is no way that all those books are going to get read despite the reader’s endless promises to himself, no doubt sincere, that his lifetime reading plan will allow him to eventually plow through every single one of them, come hell or high water.
So many books, so little time.