Jason Epstein at his home in Sag Harbor, New York, circa mid-1980s. (Susan Wood/Getty Images)

“Publishing is more comparable to what priests and teachers and some doctors do than to what people who become lawyers or businessmen or Wall Street brokers — what they do. It is a vocation, you feel you’re doing something extremely important, and it’s worth sacrificing for, because without books we wouldn’t know who we were.”

Jason Epstein in a 2000 interview on the PBS program “The Open Mind”. Quoted in his obituary in The New York Times of 5 February 2022.

Not sure about that last clause, but I’m shy of arguing with the founder of both The New York Review of Books and Library of America. Could certainly accept “we wouldn’t know nearly as much about who we were”. And of course the vocation bit is true, true, true.