Re: build on a lifetime
A lifetime of spending time on her own reading gave her a basis of experience for her work as an editor. The books she selected form a record of the way she developed mentally.
To take a very crude example: If the first book she selected had been by Ian Fleming, and the last one by Clive Cussler, we would have thought she had a skill for spotting a potential best-seller, but we would know little about her as a person. However, if her own experience of books had enabled her to begin by discovering Virginia Woolf and end with Doris Lessing, we might feel that we understood something about her mental development as a person.
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