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Thursday, 30 March 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

No one who can read, ever looks at a book,
even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.

— Charles Dickens in Our Mutual Friend

(No, I haven’t suddenly stopped reading or been crushed by a pile of falling books.
I’ll post on the books I’ve finished soon.)

Categories: Bookish Things
  1. Thursday, 30 March 2006 at 10:41 pm

    So, what does that mean? Do people who can’t read look at a book with wonder at what it may contain? Or, since they can’t read, they ignore it?

  2. Saturday, 1 April 2006 at 9:42 am

    is this a family post are am i able to participate? i have the same question as Stephen.

  3. Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 11:13 am

    Hmm. Well guys, I thought it meant that a book looks pretty dull on the outside and thus is not of much interest to those who don’t know how to read. I will have to admit to finding the quote on a “book quotes” page so I really don’t know what it meant in the context it was written in. (I’ve seen the movie Our Mutual Friend but have not read the book. I guess I’ll see if I can find it in context and maybe we can clear up the meaning a bit.)

  4. Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 11:28 am

    Okay. Looks like I have no idea what I’m talking about. Here’s the quote in context:

    There was a curious mixture in the boy, of uncompleted savagery, and uncompleted civilization. His voice was hoarse and coarse, and his face was coarse, and his stunted figure was coarse; but he was cleaner than other boys of his type; and his writing, though large and round, was good; and he glanced at the backs of the books, with an awakened curiosity that went below the binding. No one who can read ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.

  5. Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 11:29 am

    Oh. One more thing:

    I found the quote via Google Book Search. Pretty cool and a lot easier than going to the library and thumbing the pages until I found it.

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