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Brindabella Press

'I hear that those new people have decided to have books in their library,’ remarked Edith Wharton disdainfully. That put-down, from an eminent novelist and book lover who was also a wealthy member of upper-class New York society, was delivered without ambiguity in the 1920s. The ‘new people’ were using books as interior decoration. They would never disturb the display of handsome volumes in their unused library by taking one from the shelf. Could they even read? Probably not, Wharton thought: they had been too busy making money.

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