"In an ideal world -- one free from, say, hunger, lobbyists and the use of multiple exclamation points in a single sentence -- we would have enough hours in the day to both live life and read about it." Says William Brantley in His Times Union Column.As it stands, the living wins out for all but the luckiest of us, and there comes a point in every reader's life when he realizes that he's not going to read all the things he wants to or needs to or should.
Some people process this and adjust with ease. Some feel a dull ache occasionally but don't get hysterical. Others never recover from the knowledge, the inevitable incompleteness of their reading hanging over them like an irremissible debt.