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Forever 'More'

 One of these days, when I grow up, I will stop blowing up with enthusiasm over some new thing, only to be disappointed later.

That is the way I felt about audiobooks, which only recently I was wildly enthused over. How many words have to bounce off your eardrums before you just say "Oh will you just shut up!"

All those words. The narrator might be really talented. But stop burying me under all those words, please!

I have always had this problem with the world of books, and it doesn't matter if they are delivered to the customer through the eyes or the ears. 

In fact it is tempting to use 'obscene' to describe excess verbiage. Have you noticed that people who read too many books tend to talk in long paragraphs of stilted, oxygen-deprived English, instead of the way a sensible person talks: in short lively punchy clauses?



It was probably no accident that I had those thoughts about excessive verbiage as trekker after trekker walked by my camper. They are doing the Arizona Trail. Most are north-bound of course.

I admire them on some level, and talk to them sometimes, but mostly I just roll my eyes. All those steps. What for? Is it just to raise their self-esteem?

What is it about human beings that makes them want to take a good thing towards more, more, more? Is it supposed to make things more interesting? Or does it earn them some sort of mini-celebrity status? Enough is never enough.


XXXXX said…

Sometimes 'more, more, more' steps is an escape from 'stupid, stupid, and more stupid.'

I am realizing that I would much rather read a book, a philosophical book, than talk to someone else about any philosophical concept. The latter degenerates into total triviality, splitting hairs, while the former is totally under my control. If the author goes off the deep end, I simply stop reading. No need for any polite escape. I'm never trapped.

Excess verbiage is obscene if it is senseless. However, there are those special times......and I too 'blow up with enthusiasm'. The original Greek meaning of the word 'enthusiasm' (entheos: the god within) is related to divine inspiration. There is something not to be denied here. After all, isn't this what you feel when you have a great ride? These moments are just beyond grand and usually the times we feel the most alive.

Brewed Journey said…
It’s been 25 years since I hiked the Appalachian Trail, but I did it almost entirely for the physical challenge. I had no backpacking experience and had spent spent little time in nature. There was something simple and powerful about getting up every day and moving north one step at a time from Georgia to Maine. It was probably the best experience of my life, and it did increase my self-confidence in many ways. I also formed some powerful friendships with some of the partners that I hiked with. Will I hike another long distance trail? Probably not. Five months out of my life was enough.
George, have you ever wondered why a philosophical book needs to wander around for 600 pages, choking on their own verbiage? If they have something to say, why can't they say it in 20 pages?

Brewed Journey, glad you had a good experience on the Appalachian Trail. Did you gain something from it that couldn't have been gained from a two hour day hike?

Brewed Journey said…
A short poem can change one’s life, while many novels will not. However, in the spirit of your post, the answer to your question is yes.
XXXXX said…

Sometimes I resort to reading book summaries on Wikipedia if I just want the bullet points.