A library is an enormous repository of information, entertainment, the best that has been thought and said. It is also probably the densest concentration of potential boredom on earth.

Jennifer Schuessler, setting the scene for her history of boredom, drawing from among other sources, “Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind”, by Patricia Meyer Spacks, and Humbodt’s Gift, quoting boredom as: “a kind of pain caused by unused powers, the pain of wasted possibilities or talents, … accompanied by expectations of the optimum utilization of capacities.” Nonetheless, she suggests that research would suggest otherwise, and the additional strains associated with boredom are those brought on by “greater activity in regions responsible for recalling autobiographical memory, imagining the thoughts and feelings of others, and conjuring hypothetical events: the literary areas of the brain.”

Advertisements