Demoyte was a connoisseur of books. Mor, who was not, had long ago been barred from the library. Mor liked to tear a book apart as he read it, breaking the back, thumbing and turning down the pages, commenting and underlining. He liked to have his books close to him, upon a table, upon the floor, at least upon open shelves. Seeing them so near and so destroyed, he could feel that they were now almost inside his head. Demoyte's books seemed a different kind of entity. Yet he liked to see them too, elegant, stiff and spotless, gilded and calved, books to be held gently in the hand and admired, and which recalled to mind the fast of which Mor was usually oblivious that a book is a thing and not just a collection of thoughts.

The Sandcastle.
Iris Murdoch.

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