Clerisy

“The book-buying public is a very small segment of any society, but it is a highly influential segment. This class of people, what author Robertson Davies called the clerisy, comprised those who read books for pleasure. Not the profressional critics or the scholars or the students who read because they have to, but rather, the people read books as an end in itself. The true readers. The clerisy is the crucial element in any societal shift. The notion of the rabble-rousing mob of peasants overturning the social order is a myth; real revolutions begin with the clerisy. It is only after the old order has started to crumble that the mobs show up, pitchforks in hand, ready to take credit. The “angry mob” is a reactive entity, in every sense of the word. No, it’s the people who read books who instigate the changes in society– for better or worse.”

– Will Ferguson

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