A book-hating printer

At dinner last night I met a Chinese book printer, but he hates reading books - especially novels, which he believes lead youth astray. All formats: printed books, e-books, cartoons, and short versions on the mobile. His home is bookless. He reminded me of the printer Jerome-Nicolas Séchard in Balzac’s Lost Illusions who admonishes his son David in these words: “If you had not studied books, if I had kept you under my eyes, you would have done as I pleased, and you would be marrying a miller’s widow this day with a hundred thousand francs in hand, to say nothing of the mill.” (translation by Ellen Marriage, Philadelphia, 1898)