Once I found a secondhand copy of The Pocket Aquinas, a little book, but dense with words. Somebody was throwing it away. As the pages and spine were still pristine, it seemed the first owner had found no use for it, but I knew that Aquinas was one of the revered theologians of Catholicism, and I thought that one day I would find time to investigate. This was back in the days when I had room in my heart and home for almost any book, provided only that it promised some serious purpose.
Years went by, and The Pocket Aquinas remained unopened. There was always something more compelling to read. As I have commented elsewhere, the impossibility of reading everything that deserves some attention eventually forced its way into my consciousness. I began to throw books out: books I felt sure I would never read again, or books that did not promise enough to read even once.
I came to Aquinas. I told myself that the great scholar deserved a hearing, so I opened the book. It was unreadable: dull beyond imagining, pointless beyond belief, possessing no insight into God or Humanity, and doing a lot to confirm our worst prejudices about medievalism.
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