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The professor by Miguel Moniz

Portraits of men

Robert walked into the dusty gallery and found the old bookstore at the end of the corridor. It only sold used books. Rare first editions and out of print titles, as well as past encyclopaedias, law compendia and other academic texts. As a history professor at the local university, he had a keen appreciation of this type of disappearing establishment. An endangered species in the world of commerce, but one with an important role in the preservation of knowledge. As his mentor – from his days as an undergraduate – used to say, civilisations that forget the ideas of the past cannot understand their present nor see clearly what their future will be like. 
As he walked into the bookstore, he was immediately hit by the earthy, musty smell of the old books and their slowly decaying paper. He went to one of the shelves and found a leather-bound compendium on 19th Century philosophy. He recognised many of the authors mentioned in the index, but a few he hadn’t heard of. He picked up his smartphone and googled their names. There were several pages of irrelevant search results. After a few attempts he gave up on the online search.

He went over to the old man who had managed the store for decades, persevering in his dwindling business, forked over a few euros, put his new old book under his arm and went home.

Last modified onWednesday, 26 May 2021 19:45
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