Bookish Quote du Jour

“The existence of public libraries was kept from me as long as possible (the knowledge would, it was thought, interfere with my studies), but when the secret broke at last, I rapidly became what in those days was an especially irritating kind of borrower, who brought back in the evening the books he had borrowed in the morning and read in the afternoon….Such was my first experience of the addictive excitement a large open-access public library generates: the sense of imminent discovery, the impulse to start on twenty books at once.”

Source: Philip Larkin, “Shelving the Issue,” The New Statesman (1977); reprinted in Further Requirements: Interviews, Broadcasts, Statements and Book Reviews, 1952-85 (2001); quoted by Patrick Krup in his blog Anecdotal Evidence (February 19, 2015).

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