Is the world saturated with too much spiritual reading material?
BY: Ptolemy Tompkins
I have a lot to look at.
Both my office and my apartment are so well supplied with unread books that I’d need a good twenty years on a desert island to get through all of them. I buy a good deal of these books--more than I should--but as a magazine editor I also receive a fair amount of free review copies as well. I rip open the tan, anonymous-looking envelopes these books come in, and if the book inside looks promising I toss it on the floor behind my chair with the thought of looking more closely at it later.
The same thing happens with magazines, which come in at about the same rate as the books. Some of these magazines I subscribe to, while others just seem to show up because someone, somewhere, has decided I should receive them. I quickly flip through each new one that arrives, and if it looks like there’s an interesting article or two inside, down it goes on the floor next to the books.
Then there’s the rest of the mail. I get a lot of letters from readers--many of them asking about books I’ve mentioned in articles. How do they get a copy? Could I get one for them? I find it surprising--but also somehow likable--that so many readers ofGuideposts
andAngels on Earth
don’t seem to know about how easy it is to find and buy books on the internet. (I sometimes think I’d be better off if I didn’t know myself.)
Speaking of the internet, needless to say plenty of stuff to read comes in each day courtesy of it as well: articles, stories, links to other articles and other stories…and emails, emails, and more emails.
Somewhere in between looking at all this material--or content, as it’s often called today--I’m called upon to produce original content of my own to add to the world’s already bulging supply. By the time I get home each night--usually with my briefcase loaded with whatever books, magazines, and printed-out stuff that I didn’t manage to get to in the course of the day--I’m so tired of producing and absorbing content that most of the time the stuff in my briefcase is still there waiting to be looked at the next day. I pull it out, throw it on the kitchen or coffee table, and head out the door to collect another day’s worth.
This sounds like I’m complaining, but the fact is I kind of like drowning in all this content. I’m used to it, and if it all dried up tomorrow I’d probably feel pretty lost.