I really enjoyed this article, and the way you changed course about your own conclusions half way through! As far as the habit of self denial,I do this regularly with new books I have received as gifts. I might get a new book as a present for my birthday in August but not read it until after Christmas. In my mind, I get so much pleasure just thinking about how much I am going to enjoy this book that I feel almost as excited as if I were reading it. So self denial at times can be an enhancement to an anticipated pleasure, and not always a symptom of feeling unworthy of life’s treats and pleasures.

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays. 824drb@gmail.com