“I get much more respect than I deserve. This seems harmless enough in most cases. People want to respect the pastor and I’m not going to interfere with that. But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from, except of course, that some very tedious gentlemen have written books.
This is not a new insight, but the truth of it is something you have to experience to fully grasp… Often enough when someone saw the light burning in my study long into the night, it only meant I had fallen asleep in my chair. My reputation is largely the creature of the kindly imaginings of my flock, whom I chose not to disillusion.”
–Marilynne Robinson, Gilead: A Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), 39-40.