Sunday, March 22, 2009

Choosing a book

As Barry Schwartz explains in the video above, too much choice can sometimes lead to decision paralysis. As a book-o-phile who has accumulated a relatively large collection of books (some of which I obtained decades ago and have yet to get around to reading) and who has additional access to thousands more books via the public library system, I can attest to the difficulty of narrowing down the options to a specific choice without lingering distress over the choices not chosen.

This leads me to often invent reasons to pick a book. Which is what I'm doing now, by using this post as a sort of late New Year's resolution about some books I intend to read this year. Here goes:

Since 2009 is the bicentennial of the births of Lincoln and Darwin I intend to read at least one of my Lincoln books and one of Darwin's works contained in my copy of the Barnes and Noble Darwin Compendium; and given that this is also the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species I can narrow those five choices in the compendium down to one.

I also resolve to read at least one of the books on my list of books that I really want to read but haven't. I'm leaning towards Crimes Against Humanity as a sort of reflection on the last eight years of the Bush administration's push towards a lawless world.

No comments: