Suzanne Morrison: The Sausage Maker and his Books:
A friend of hers worked for a sausage maker in Philadelphia for a number of years. The sausage maker was an old, grizzled man who loved to read. He was such a voracious reader, in fact, that he made Erin's friend-- we'll call him Tom-- drive the sausage truck to New York for deliveries so that he could sit on the passenger side and read all the way there.
I picture him a bit like my grandpa, actually: Tall, barrel-chested, with thick fingers like, um, sausages. Forgive me, but his hands are important, because while he read his books from Philly to NYC he did the most peculiar thing: he would read a page front and back and then, in one swift movement, he'd tear the page out of the book and throw it out the window.
I have seen some amazing things in my life. Ray Charles. Macchu Picchu. The Louvre. Pompeii. A Monster Truck Rally. But I have never gasped with baffled wonderment like I did at the end of this little anecdote.
When I got home Kurt and I found seats between stacks of books, our dinner plates resting on tables of John McPhee and Stephen King, and I told him the story. He was as baffled and impressed as I was. I said it was a philosophical difference; the sausage maker could accept that he had spent his allotted time with each page and then let it go. I, on the other hand, am too deeply attached to the past. I keep books I've already read and will never read again because they keep the past in my home, nearby, so that I can relive it any time I want. It's a fear of death, I said. The sausage maker is liberated from that fear. Page-ripping is his yoga.