I am getting old: my visit to the local library today is a definite indication.
Every now and then, to ensure a balanced diet, I treat myself to reading non-substantial lit, and in this junk read category, I had everything, rural mysteries, cat mysteries, urban tales, fantasy, cop series, everything that even obliquely refers to India, Star Wars books, best selling thrillers, kid lit, teen lit, and more.
I remember my forays into the new releases' shelves. I could boast that there were less than 5 authors in that section that I hadn't read. I also remember actually enjoying picking and choosing, much like the way an epicurean would choose her chocolate, tasting a bite here, abandoning it for something more delectable, deliberating before committing . I would emerge with a bursting bag after browsing for hours.
Today, however, I found myself actually hunting down a singular book my book club is reading, something that's not even due to be finished until June. I found myself moving towards the check out desk with a book in my hand, my bag awkward and empty on my shoulder.
Worried, I made myself go to the new release section and browse. To my alarm, it was full of authors I had not read. Worse, no impulse directed me to reach out, even to read jackets!
I have come to the painful, crushing conclusion that I am older, because I am getting choosy about what I read.
I shall miss my old self, who devoured the written word in all its incarnations and forms, whose genuine enjoyment of it was not marred by discrimination. This person was truly free because she did not care what others thought of what she read. Her freedom opened her to inhabiting many, many simultaneous universes and she had a quixotic nobility peculiar to people like Walter Mitty, who refuse to be constricted by one lifetime.