Taste is a more reliable guide to character than opinion

Dalrymple writes that he knows many people who,

when they enter a house for the first time, are inclined (even if they control themselves) to go straight up to the bookshelves to find out what their hosts are made of.

He confesses that he is like this.

I control myself, but in a room with a substantial number of books, I feel a tension mounting in myself until I have found out what they are. Indeed, I often fake or manufacture a reason for sidling up to them, and examining them out of the corner of my eye.

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