Philip went to his study to gather together the books and papers he would need. As usual, he wasted a great deal of time wondering which books to take on his journey. He had a neurotic fear of finding himself stranded in some foreign hotel or railway station with nothing to read, and in consequence always travelled with far too many books, most of which he brought home unread. Tonight, unable to decide between two late Trollope novels, he packed both, along with some poems by Seamus Heaney, a new biography of Keats and a translation of the Divine Comedy which he had been carrying around with him on almost every trip for the last thirty years without ever having made much progress in it.
From David Lodge, Small World: An Academic Romance (1984).