“There is no friend as a loyal as a book.” Ernest Hemingway
Almost fifteen years ago a woman who I saw for about four years in a voice drenched in sarcasm and exasperation asked me, “Do you really need to read another book?”
For her books were a waste of time. Her university degree was in mathematics. She was a systems analyst. That year she had completed a part-time program to gain a Bachelor of Business Administration. She judged life as black or white. And thinking was less than action. She believed she was perfect. She very nearly was. But she believed scorn was a way to motivate change. It is not a very effective one.
I should have answered her question by saying, “I was reading books long before I met you, and I will be reading books long after you are a memory in my rear view mirror. Books will never let me down. I reread favourite books. It is like going on vacation with an old friend.”