'It rubs off,' said Constance. 'All those models carried on the same way the artists did. You only have to read a book about the Left Bank.'
'I don't read as much as you,' said Scarlet.
'You should go down the High Street,' said Constance. 'You'd be amazed what you can pick up on the remainder counter for a song.'
'We've got no room for any more books,' said Scarlet. 'The shelves are full.'
'They say you can tell all about a person from looking at his books,' said Constance, who had become addicted to book-collecting since she had acquired a car-load of second-hand volumes from a fair in the Midlands. She had originally intended to resell them but found she had grown attached to them and had built shelves in her sitting-room. They lay, opened and half read, all over her house.
'I don't know what they'd make of ours,' said Scarlet. 'Brian only buys novels by those men, and I haven't bought a book for years--not since Elizabeth David, I don't think.'
'I can't read books by men,' said Constance. 'They will go on about their willies and chopping blondes to bits, and who cares?'
'I think they think we do,' said Scarlet.
'I don't think they do,' said Constance. 'I think they just can't really think about anything else.'
--Alice Thomas Ellis, Pillars of Gold
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