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Know that Stationery Shop feeling? That all your authorial ambitions will be fulfilled, once you’ve bought lots of that lovely, pristine stuff?

Here it is, summed up in David Lodge’s The British Museum is Falling Down (1965).   Our hero, Adam Appleby, knows he ought to return to the BM’s Reading Room to write his dissertation, but he can’t get down to it.

“In Great Russell Street he lingered outside the windows of bookshops, stationers and small publishers. The stationers particularly fascinated him. He coveted the files, punches, staplers, erasers, coloured inks and gadgets whose functions remained a teasing mystery, thinking that if only he could afford to equip himself with all this apparatus his thesis would write itself: he would be automated.”

Exactly!

 

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