You Can’t Read Everything

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“I had gone through and thought about the number of books you could conceivably read in a year, for example. And then if you extrapolate it out over your lifetime, how many can you reasonably read? And it got me thinking about how vast the world of books is, and how small what you will ever take in actually is. And it becomes a sort of overwhelming thought when you realize that no matter how hard you try, no matter how smart you are, no matter how much you love to read – as I put it in the piece, statistically speaking, you’re going to die having missed almost everything.”

Linda Holmes, blogger for NPR’s Monkey See, told listeners of Talk of the Nation to face the facts: there are way too many books, magazines, and blogs for one person to read in a lifetime, so choose wisely.


LaToya Jordan is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Thick-Skinned Sugar (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and her work has been listed as notable in Best American Essays 2016. Her writing has appeared in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Mom Egg Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, and more. Visit her at latoyajordan.com. More from this author →