From The Telegraph:
They say that Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the last person to have read everything. By the time he died there were too many books, they suggest, for any single brain to engage with. “They”, as usual, are wrong. There were already millions of books in Europe by the year 1500, just half a century after the first printed page flew from the first press. To read a million books in a lifetime you would have to read 40 a day for 70 years. I couldn’t even smoke half that many cigarettes for half as long before giving up and it takes a lot longer to read a book than to smoke a cigarette, let me tell you.
Philosophers, wits, novelists, cooks, poets, essayists, herbalists, mathematicians, builders, poets and divines had poured out more thoughts in that first 50 years than had been committed to paper or vellum in the previous thousand. And the rate only continued to increase as it approached this century’s dizzyingly insane levels of oversupply. With so much flowing from so many different human brains, who can be bothered to read it? Not I, sir and madam, not I. It’s all I can do to peruse the side of a packet of breakfast cereal without distraction from radio, television or phone. I have no doubt you are in the same case. You would dearly like to suck intellectual and metaphysical juice from the fruity flesh of the world’s best thinkers and writers but the treetops are all out of reach and it would be too much of a fag to go and fetch a ladder. If only someone would pick, pulp and squeeze that fruit for you.
Your wish has been answered. There has never been a collection like Advanced Banter. Look in vain for the obvious, the banal and the platitudinous. On every page you will marvel at “what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed”.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
Biologically speaking, if something bites you, it’s more likely to be female.
A woman is like a tea bag. It’s only when she’s in hot water that you realise how strong she is.
NANCY REAGAN Although sometimes also attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.
A man can sleep around, but if a woman makes 19 or 20 mistakes she’s a tramp.