“Why do I voyage so much? And write so little?” Lawrence Ferlinghetti once asked himself... despite all of the books he had already written, and the one he was writing right then. It is like how I find myself asking "Why do I do so much? And read so little?" only to remember the books I have already closed, and the one open in my lap.
At the small library where I also work, there is one patron who takes home multiple books per week and still always laments: "There are just too many! How are we supposed to read them all?" A farmer in Eastern Washington state, she is approaching her busiest season and, this week, only takes home one. She shakes her head at the others and says, "I will come back for you."
I wonder what she is asking herself: "Why do I work so much? Why do I toil?" Or me: "Why do I promise so much? Scroll so much? Why don't I stop, turn on the lamp, and pull a title from the shelf?" When will we come back for them?
Sarah J. Bofenkamp is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Palouse, Washington.