I vowed not to purchase any books during 2010, and thus far it's proved to be liberating. I don't only mean this in terms of the re-discovered time freed from leisurely browsing (on- and off-line) and unspent dollars of course, but more significantly in terms of the erection of boundaries and its surprising effects. We are forced to engage with limits - of resources, of our own finitude - and embrace the truthfulness of the present and contingent; what lies before us is no longer the infinity of projected wisdom and undiscovered islands. This self-constrained working within bounds - simultaneously a departure from the imagined future - is a rejection of deferred "presents" and is a condition for sanity. The glut of publishing and the decay of reading are entwined; the former chokes and strangles the other, while diminished readers fuel infantile information.
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