This is how I feel when it comes to choosing a book. Do I go for fiction or non-fiction? Or both? Short and sweet or something with a bit more depth? Do I read one book cover to cover or have several on the go? I'm often guilty of the latter but, in my defence, it does feel wrong in my heart to cheat on a good book - that must mean I'm not a bad person (or so I tell myself). I'm munching my way through the Game of Thrones at the moment (don't judge me) and I feel like a more serious read but there's so much choice at home that I just can't decide. Between my brother and I, we've got an enviable collection of juicy reads on philosophy and politics - books literally pouring out of every shelf and cupboard - and my reading list is now so long that my hand hurts. Question is - where do I start? I'm a kid in a candy store, absolutely enchanted. I want everything.
It's a happy problem to have but a problem nonetheless. We learnt in Organisational Behaviour that we're not programmed to deal with lots of options. We like quick-snap decision-making, low cognitive load. "Too much choice" is a burden. You have to rationalise your way through all the possible tradeoffs and somehow get to the optimal decision. And what if you don't? What if you could've chosen something better? Let's not get all existential but do you even know what you really want in the first place?! Do you even know what would make you happy?! Exactly. Well, thankfully, we're choosing a book and not a spouse - suboptimal choices are easily addressed so I'll go with my gut on this one and pick the first book(s) I lay my hand on. And here they are, the lucky winners:
"Lives on the Left" is one my brother picked up back in the day when he was an armchair Marxist. Deciding between these two is a much simpler affair. "Eenie-meenie-miney-mo" ought to do it. Having said that, to be fair, I'm now old enough to know which option that poem will finally land on so it's basically cheating...oh well!