Be amusing: never tell unkind stories; above all, never tell long ones.
- Benjamin Disraeli
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…stories about [the German composer Johannes] Brahms’s rudeness and wit amused me in particular. For instance, I loved the one about how a great wine connoisseur invited the composer to dinner. ‘This is the Brahms of my cellar,’ he said to his guests, producing a dust-covered bottle and pouring some into the master’s glass. Brahms looked first at the color of the wine, then sniffed its bouquet, finally took a sip, and put the glass down without saying a word. ‘Don’t you like it?’ asked the host. ‘Hmm,’ Brahms muttered. ‘Better bring your Beethoven!’
I would say that, in the future, the book will be reserved for things that function best as a book. So, if I need a textbook that’s going to be out of date because of new technological inventions, you’re better off having it where you can download the supplements or the update. If you’re going to read a quick mystery novel to keep you amused while you’re traveling, it’s fine.