Like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write

From Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life (pg 174 – originally L’invention du quotidien vol. 1, though I only have the translation at hand):

Far from being writers – founders of their own place, heirs of the peasants of earlier ages no working on the soil of language, diggers of wells and builders of houses – readers are travellers; they move across lands belonging to someone else, like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write, despoiling the wealth of Egypt to enjoy it themselves. Writing accumulates, stocks up, resists time by the establishment of a place and multiplies its production through the expansionism of reproduction. Reading takes no measures against the erosion of time (one forgets oneself and also forgets), it does not keep what it acquires, or it does so poorly, and each of the places through which it passes is a repetition of the lost paradise.

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