Karen Baston, "Alan Rodger's Library: Introduction," in Karen Baston and Ernest Metzger. The Roman Law Library of Alan Ferguson Rodger, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, with a bibliography of his works
(Glasgow: Traditio Iuris Romani, 2012), pp. 7-18 (at 16-17, footnotes omitted):
In his essay 'Savigny on the Strand', Rodger
revealed his penchant for studying bookshelves to glean
information about their owners' interests from them.
Bookshelves provided evidence for nothing less than
the apparent failure of universities to win over most of
their graduates to any lifelong interest in the academic
aspects of the subjects which they study. The physical
signs of this failure are often to be seen on the
bookshelves of the homes which you visit — the tell-tale
unchanging cluster of French or German novels which were
once the set texts for a modern languages graduate, or Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight peeping forlornly out from the
growing thicket of Edna O'Briens and Muriel Sparks on the
shelves of someone who long ago did a course on English
Graduates of law were not free of this fault of literature
In the same way the office of many a lawyer contains a small
cluster of ageing or obsolete textbooks which would allow a
legal archaeologist to determine fairly precisely when the
occupant graduated and thereby released himself from the
painful obligation to purchase legal texts.
The same certainly could not be said of Rodger. His
bookshelves combined the texts of his university years with
the latest publications on Roman law. His lifelong interest was clear to see from the moment a visitor entered his home
and saw the well-stocked bookshelves in his hallway.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.