"But to go out and buy a new book like the Walcott because people were talking about it would have seemed an extravagance; and that was where we were in the end ruled by the idea of our poverty. And though, as a writer, I was to depend on people buying my new book, that idea of book-buying as an extravagance stayed with me for many years."
You see, it's been gnawing at me that it may actually be true. But what I think and where the evidence leads are two different things. So, I'd like to ask you, Dear Reader, to help me to solve this riddle and also to ponder these questions:
If the statement is true, what factors led to the situation?
If the statement is no longer true, what has changed?
If the statement was never true, why would Naipaul make such a statement?
If the statement is true, what can be done to change this attitude? Should there be a change? Why?
Have you ever thought of books as "extravagances"?
I'm going to run the survey for a week (9/28/07). And while this is not a scientific poll, based on previous surveys of my readers, I'd say most of my readers are "opinion makers" and that goes a long way.
Here are the results (9/29/07):