“When you speak of those who comment on popular fiction, speak gently. They are childish in their enthusiasms, these commentators. They scratch endlessly in that gray-lighted immensity of forgotten novels, sniffing at the track of the past.
"Bits of brown paper cling to their clothing. Their eyes are huge. Soiled papers bulge in their pockets, notes scribbled in the stacks. For they have had valuable insights and scrawled these down, so that the thoughts might not escape, not one–although how easily blunted these are when transmuted from thought to the written word.
"Speak gently of these commentators. Their thoughts are not of this present. Their bodies consume dinners and feel the sun and even drive automobiles on public highways. But their minds, all interlocked with speculations on the past, balance the merits of books no one cares to read. In doing so, they achieve a sort of dusty happiness. Their candle dwindles. But little they notice that shrinking light. There is still another Nick Carter to read, another Cleek to consider, another cracksman to emplace in the shabby mosaic of their thought. They honor the forgotten. They search earnestly, stumbling from volume to volume, seeking to understand what is of dubious importance. Accident guides their minds as much as design.
“Drop a nickle in their cup and hurry by. For Heaven’s sake, hurry! That one wants to tell you about Jimmie Dale.”