When people talk abut something being infinite, they don’t always mean that it’s actually infinite; like, for instance, the grains of sand on a beach. If you could capture a moment and take the time to count all the sand out of the sea’s reach, then you would eventually come out with a some kind of number. I think the phrase that people are looking for is ‘too many to count’.
After my recent rekindling of library love, I was thinking: is it possible to have a library with all the books ever written, and all the books that ever would be written?
Initially, I was quite sure that there was a finite amount of books and would-be-books, just just too many to count. My idea went something like this: first you would get all the published or someday-to-be-published booksand then you would swap all the words in the book around, and then you would swap those words for words that weren’t originally in the book (theoretical, remember?).
Then, I started to think about word combinations. In an average 200-page book, there are about 50,000 words. If you do a quick search on the internet, you’ll find that there are 120 different combinations for just 5 words, all on their own. That’s 120 different ways of combining something that’s less than a sentence. 120 ways of combining my first words ‘when people talk about something. And 5 words is a millionth of your 200-page book.
Of course, that’s not even considering the over a quarter of a million words in the English language. And how about new names? New words? Despite there only being 26 letters, there is an -actually- endless possibility of new words. You could have a whole book filled with one word made entirely out of ‘a’s. And let’s not that I haven’t even taken into account the definition of a book, or other languages and alphabets.
It all got a bit overwhelming.
So, there went my near-infinite library delusions. But, to be honest, there’d be no way to count the half-formed stories and frantic scribblings, anyway. There are probably dozens of stories formed subconsciously inside our head each day. In the end, I think our imagination far outdoes the grains of sand on the beach. Though I hate to say the cliche, the possibilities are, in fact, endless.
Again, thank you for having me as a guest blogger!
Thanks for the guest post, Apple! If you’re interested in guest blogging with me, head over here to find out about contacting me! Let us know your thoughts on my first ever guest post down in the comments.