About Books – from Dean Koontz


I recently read The Door to December (1985) by Dean Koontz and I loved this little excerpt about books.

Frowning at the box in Dan’s hands, Padrakis raised his voice above the shrieking engine of the nature lovers’ vehicle. ‘What’s that you’ve got there?’
‘Assembled sheets of paper with words on them, for the purpose of conveying information or providing entertainment. Now what about the squawk-box? What’s Mondale,want?’
‘You taking those books with you?’
‘That’s right.’
‘Don’t know if you can do that.’
‘Don’t worry. I can manage. They aren’t that heavy.’
[..]Padrakis followed him. ‘Hey, about those books—’
‘Do you read, George?’
‘They’re the property of the deceased—’
‘Nothing like curling up with a good book, though they’re not nearly so entertaining when you’re deceased.’
‘And this isn’t like a crime scene where we can just cart away anything that might be evidence.’
Dan balanced the box on the bumper of his car, unlocked the trunk, put the box inside, and said, ‘”The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Mark Twain said that, George.’
‘Listen, until a member of his family has been located and gives approval, I really don’t think you should—’
Slamming the lid of the trunk, Dan said, ‘”There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney. He was right, George. You should read more.’
‘”Books are not merely lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.” Gilbert Highet.’ He clapped George Padrakis on the shoulder. ‘Expand your narrow existence, George. Bring color to this drab life as a detective. Read, George, read!’
Dan got in the car, closed the door, and started the engine. Padrakis frowned at him through the window. Dan waved as he drove away.

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