Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You will take my complaints on the chin and think, "It's only Amnon."

I recently read The Genizah at the House of Shepher by Tamar Yellin, another free book sent to me as an early reviewer at Library Thing. It was the second book in two months to employ the expression "chalk and cheese" which I had hitherto never heard. But that's not why I'm mentioning it here. I'm mentioning it here because of this paragraph, from page 32. Aside from the bit about reading at speed, I have to say... well, ouch.

He had his books spread ostentatiously on the table when his guest arrived, to create the impression of a great scholar, though in fact he was nothing of the kind. Raphaelovitch had read a great many books in his time, but was hampered by his inability to remember any of them. All he could recall were the titles, of which he kept a careful list tucked inside his sleeve for emergencies. He read at speed, believing that the mind could retain more that way. Apart from the standard texts he never went over a book twice, since anything of importance must have been stored in his brain the way sedimentary rocks are laid down by time. On the other hand, any book, once read, became his possession, and he could not bear to part with it.