Oct 09, 2009, 12:51PM

Roger Ebert on a life of books

"When I get a little money I buy books, and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

One afternoon in Cape Town I sat in my little room at University House and took inventory. This must have been in June, winter in the southern hemisphere, and it had been raining steadily for most of a week. I was virtually alone in the student residence; the others had packed off for vacation. With an umbrella and plastic slicker I'd ventured out once or twice to the Pig and Whistle, where I favored the Ploughman's Lunch, but to sustain life I'd laid in a supply of tinned sardines, cheddar and swiss cheese, Hob Nobs, apples, Carr's Water Biscuits, ginger cookies, Hershey bars, biltong, sausage and a pot of jam. I had a little electric coil that would bring a cup of water to a boil, a jar of Nescafe, a box of sugar and some Instant Postum.



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