Literary Soapbox Derby
Too many books in the world!? Ah, say it ain't so! That's like saying there's too many roses...too many songs...too many springs!
I ascended this soapbox even figuring I had the short end of the argument since anything Jeff Culbreath and Tom of Disputations agree on is almost surely true. But I couldn't go down without a fight, and I made a comment that in hindsight looks embarrassingly strident. I responded to his original post by saying that books are simply people speaking and that this is like saying there are too many people speaking, which is awfully close to saying there are too many people. Or rather saying there are too many people who aren’t like me. (Here I'm borrowing Sancta Sanctis's policy of quoting herself, which she'd borrowed from me. Very circular, 'eh?)
God is the master of frivolity - how can one look outside at the natural world and not wonder at the redundancy? A maple…looks like another maple. Thank God He who is Depth Itself does not look on our meagerness and become sad. What bothers me, and I’m guilty of it too, is looking around a room full of people (or books in this case) and thinking, “I can’t learn anything from them.” That’s not a Catholic (or catholic) point-of-view.
No one is more entitled to that attitude than our present Holy Father, and yet he always has an attitude of humility, of listening… of respect for even what is below him, as Goethe indicated was the mark of Christianity. (Btw, let me give a shout out to young Goethe!)
Jeff didn't let me slip that comment in the back, Jack. He shined the light on it and weighed in here, making the good point that a call for more silence isn't a bad thing and isn't the same as a call for less people.
Regarding books in general, everyone is created differently and everyone has progressed to different level of sanctity or lack thereof. There are those with high IQs and low IQs and high levels of sanctity and low levels. Therefore there is a need for all sorts of different books. Some people simply have little to no capacity for reading “deep” books. Others may suffer from ill health or depression and appreciate “frivolous” books more than we know. Others are edified and are drawn closer to God by what were formerly banned books.