Books v. gumshoes

Dalrymple explains that if there is one thing he has learnt in life, it is never to go anywhere without a book to read.

But one time, when he found himself stuck at an hotel in Los Angeles, he discovered that for some reason he had brought no book with him. So he started reading the telephone directory, the yellow pages. First he looked up bookshops, and there were just a very few entries, taking up less than a quarter of a page; then he looked up private detectives, and there were at least 50 pages of them.

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