Sunday Book-Thought 135

My bookshelves were more successful with Veronica than my record collection. In those days, paperbacks came in their traditional liveries: orange Penguins for fiction, blue Pelicans for non-fiction. To have more blue than orange on your shelf was proof of seriousness. And overall, I had enough of the right titles: Richard Hoggart, Steven Runciman, Huizinga, Eysenck, Empson… plus Bishop John Robinson’s Honest to God next to my Larry cartoon books. Veronica paid me the compliment of assuming I’d read them all, and didn’t suspect that the most worn titles had been bought second-hand.
– Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (London: Jonathan Cape, 2011), pp. 23-24.