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Right after I retired and moved to Wimberley I came to the library to check out a book I had always intended to read but just never had time to pick up and start.

I have a master's degree in English, but no professor I ever had wanted me to read "War and Peace."

So, I didn't.

I never told anyone I hadn't read Tolstoy. I just skirted the subject if it came up.

I checked out the library's copy and lugged it home and sat down and started at the first page, and at that first page I decided I would not be reading "War and Peace" -- ever. Why? Because the dialogue was in French, not in English. I don't know French. And I will not be learning French. I have enough trouble with English.

I am making this confession now because it just so happens that one of the authors I admire, Christopher Buckley, just made his own confession to The New York Times Book Review that he has never read "War and Peace," either.

"My standard excuse for this appalling illiteracy is: 'I'm saving it for my final illness,'" Buckley told The Book Review.

He will never read "War and Peace."

Wow: Sure makes me feel better.

-- Carroll Wilson, Circulation Librarian

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