While Cedric is sitting on a train en route to Bordeaux, reading a very interesting, fat book, he thinks that, these days, the only time when he actually feels like he has time to read, is while he is sitting on a train. He wonders how his life has turned out in such a way that does not allow him, or at least makes him feel that life has not allowed him, to read on his spare time anymore.
As it turns out, Cedric does not even find reading on the train comfortable. One often finds that the book needs to be held by one’s own hands, if you is to succeed in the endeavor, or should one say challenge, that reading can represent, especially on a train. When the book is short, one is presented with no major problems to carry out this task, but to have to carry and hold for more than ten minutes a book heavy as a brick which weighs well over a pound, well, at least, in the twenty-first century, starts to seem like a rather absurd practice.
Despite the preceding rant, on his way to visit a friend in southwest France, Cedric is determined to read a really heavy (1600 pages to be exact), thick book and, for the first time in his life as a reader and while his fingers start to cramp, he starts, begrudgingly, to acknowledge an incipient need for electronic books. Not because he loves modern gadgets, because he is basically against all of them, on principle. However, he starts to feel a sort of real need, due to exhaustion and rheumatism. In the book, there are thousands of footnotes. It also contains an appendix, at the end, with the biographies of all the authors referred to in the corpus.