I was always happy again when I encountered Anton. He frequented the same café as I, and he, like me, had other things to do between visits—the large garden, the family, he was a man of private means—and as a rule he chose to sit alone at a table and most often only for a short time.

He made me happy because he was interested in many things, and one could talk with him about many things. Anton was a reader—he lived his life reading. Early in the morning at the train station, he would buy the tabloid called the Blick, and he would carry the newspaper in his jacket pocket all day long and handle it as carefully as others do expensive art books, by evening his newspaper still looked unread.

At the same time, hardly anyone else made such intensive use of his newspaper. Anton spent the whole day reading: mornings over coffee, the first page, afternoons at four o’clock, already nearly to the sports section, and evenings with a beer, the last page. Reading …