I've come to the conclusion that books and buses have a great deal in common, so I thought I'd explore the analogy. I was inspired to write this by the constant question asked when people visit our house:
"Have you read all these books?
The short answer is that I've read all of some of them, and some of all of them, but I haven't read all of all of them.
But for a longer answer, let's consider buses.
I use buses a lot, and here are a few facts about them:
In London, you can wait ages for a bus, and then three come along at once. Books are the same. There is currently a spate of of non-fiction books about artificial intelligence, and a spate of fiction books with the title "The girl with ...".
Starting and Finishing
Just as you don't have to get on a bus at the start of its route and keep on it until it reaches the terminus, you don't have to start and finish books in the traditional way. Well, not non-fiction books anyway. You can dip in and out as appropriate, depending on what you need at the time.
Use many times
You don't travel on a number 25 bus and say "Great, I've done that now!" Same with books. You can read them more than once.
Exploration is possible
If you have the time, you can buy a one day travel pass and hop on and off of buses at random, just to see where you'll end up. I browse my bookshelves in the same way, pulling out books I'd forgotten about, or opening one at random to see what delights I'll find.
It's the facility that counts
What's great about living in London is that there is always a bus handy when I want one. I regard my collection of books in much the same way. When I need some information or inspiration, there is usually something on my bookshelves that will fit the bill.
The question "Have you read all these books?" misses the point. A library, even if only limited to a single bookshelf in one's living room, is there to be savoured, drawn on as appropriate, and provide a source of pleasant surprises.