At the very end of the book, having offered us rare instruction into the art of reading, colourful admonition against its pitfalls and resounding paeans about its vital necessity, Young bequeaths us no less than a full-sized library: in his last chapter, ‘The Lumber Room’, a title he borrows from Saki, Young feels his way across the volumes that have marked him as a reader and as a thinker, shaped his perception and his sensibility. Not only for their content, but also for their physicality and aesthetic beauty, introducing us to quartos, first editions, “jelly beans” of fussy opulence, well-thumbed paperbacks. A reader’s bookshelf, we are meant to understand, must be able to collect dust and feed the eyes and the senses as well as the spirit.... Above all, it is intended to be an invitation to a dance, to an encounter of many lives. The Art of Reading is a beautifully written essay on literature and philosophy, on the sociology of human experience through the written word. It is a book of many delights, and a world of hope that has made much wisdom of its many traumas. A rare joy, a company of pages to cherish for a long time.
No doubt I will, as I dance, step on some toes, too.