I have a new book on my shelf, Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. Actually, it’s not that new, it’s been there for two months and I’m really excited about reading it, so why haven’t I yet? The same goes for Roger Zelazny’s Great Book of Amber, where I’ve only read four stories (out of 10), even though, if you asked me what my favorite book was, I’d probably say Amber. So why haven’t I finished it?
I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. If there’s something I really love, and it’s possible to use it up or finish it in some way I’ll find a way to save it for later. I even have a sheet of stickers from my childhood, the super cool puffy kind, where I actually wrote on the label, in black marker (the most serious of marker colors) “do not use please” and guess what, I never used them. Now, after all these years, I’m not really into puffy whale stickers anymore, so perhaps it would have been wiser to use them then.
As an adult, I find I continue to stash away my favorite things, like a squirrel stashing nuts for an especially harsh winter. Whether it be a potentially awesome book, a particularly flattering article of clothing, or even a favorite shade of eyeshadow or lip gloss, I’m always saving my favorites for later. It’s actually kind of irritating.
It would seem that I am afraid of losing something I love, without finding something equally as wonderful to take its place. What if I never find another book as enjoyable as that one? Once I’ve read it, it’s over. Somehow, in this bizarre way of saving things, I’m prolonging the enjoyment of something, thinking about what might happen in the story, and how amazing it might be.
In the end though, I think it would be a lot better if I lived in the present moment. There are so many books out there, I’m bound to find something else amazing one day and if I keep things forever, by the time I come around to using them or reading them, they might have lost the appeal they once had, like the puffy whale stickers that remain in my desk drawer…