So she had work as an excuse for not focusing her thoughts on the page. But, too, she had long since grown impatient with Adam [Bede] and Hetty and the rest and would have quit the book but for the fact that she had paid so much for it. She wished all the people of the story to be more expansive, not so cramped by circumstance. What they needed was more scope, greater range. Go to the Indes, she directed them. Or to the Andes.
She marked her place with a yarrow stem and closed the book and set it in her lap. She wondered if literature might lose some of its interest when she reached an age or state of mind where her life was set on such a sure course that the things she read might stop seeming so powerfully like alternate directions for her being.
—Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
Note to self: read Adam Bede some day…