A Study of Reading Habits
[20 August 1960 From The Whitsun Weddings]
February 2011. Chosen by Neil Sander.
I was fifteen when I found ‘A Study of Reading Habits’ in an untravelled corner of a poetry anthology used in my high school. For a bright and lonely adolescent, just beginning to understand the realities of the world, there were no better words to be penned than Larkin’s elegy to his own youth:
“the dude who lets the girl down before the hero arrives, the chap who’s yellow and keeps the store, seem far too familiar.”