He then joked upon the difficulty of reading, and the presumption of many people, who, without any previous study and preparatory knowledge, would at once read every philosophical and scientific work, as if it were nothing but a romance. “The good people,” continued he, “know not what time and trouble it costs to learn to read. I have been employed for eighteen years on it, and cannot say that I have reached the goal yet.”
(Johann Peter Eckermann, Conversations of Goethe. London: George Bell & Sons, 1875, p. 428).