I am thinking about a friend who buys books without having any immediate intention of reading them. He sees a tempting-looking book and he buys it. For future use. When he retires he says he imagines he will have time to read the books he has accumulated, unread, over the years. He sees himself in a comfy armchair with a fire in the grate and a tower or two of books leaning from the floor beside him. I am adding a bottle of whisky in case he hasn't thought of it.
In the meantime, I wonder, what does he do with them? Does he shelve them, in their rightful place, alphabetically? Does he have a special shelf he keeps for unread books: Books I will Read Some Day? If he puts them in the literature (or philosophy or non-fiction (assuming he can keep these categories apart, I know I can't)) section of his library, will he remember he hasn't read them and will he ever read them? It gives me nightmares to think about it. As it gives me nightmares to go into the stacks at the library and look at all the books I will never read.
I have almost finished my Christmas books, including the Stieg Larsson books my son handed down to me, third or fourth hand. One I read on a transatlantic flight and on into jet lag nights in Paris. Mr Larsson, you shouldn't have climbed those seven flights of stairs, you should have gone to the gym more, you should have smoked fewer cigarettes (I know, I'm confusing you with your journalist-hero), because I couldn't put The Girl with the Hornet's Nest down and now I have no Larsson books about powerful women. You should have seen me stamping around the house.