The sure mark of an unliterary man is that he considers “I’ve read it already” to be a conclusive argument against reading a work. We have all know women who remembered a novel so dimly that they had to stand for half an hour in the library skimming through it before they were certain they had once read it. But the moment they became certain, they rejected it immediately. It was for them dead, like a burnt-out match, an old railway ticket, or yesterday’s paper; they had already used it. Those who read great works, on the other hand, will read the same work ten, twenty or thirty times during the course of their life.
When I grow up, I want to be Robin Hood. I always have, and, I suspect, I always will. The Disney cartoon held my imagination as a child in an iron grasp, and, through most of my childhood, I day-dreamed of archery contests, the clash of steel-on-steel, and rescuing fair damsels. To this day, I still nurse a glowing ember of hope that one day I’ll be able to don a feathered green cap and pick up a bow. My wife, however, isn’t so keen on the career change.