Time Enough at Last
In the closing scene of the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last” a man is sitting on the steps of the library surrounded by books that he now has all the time in the world to read since the rest of the world has been destroyed by nuclear war. It is a memorable scene and one that, for me, captures the loneliness and anti-social nature of reading, or of too much reading. I am not an avid reader, but I am a reader. I average about a book every month or two, which dismays me, really. One of my problems is that I am a slow reader. Not that I have difficulty reading, but that I often have to stop and think about things or look things up. It is not unusual for me to stop reading, research something, and then come back to the book two hours later. So, although I read about a book or two a month, that number really doesn’t do full justice to the amount of reading that I do. Even so, I often think I do not read enough. My particular brand of obsessive-compulsive behavior would find great satisfaction were there time enough to read every book ever published. My poor memory, however, would then present a new problem, since I often find myself forgetting many things that I have read. I read a book on King Philip’s war several years ago, but just the other day I had to look up the tribe that King Philip belonged to. These slips of memory annoy me.