This marvelous (I reckon at The New Yorker, that’s ‘marvellous’) passage is from Mary Norris’s Between You & Me:
“Ed Stringham, the head of the collating department [you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is], had been at The New Yorker for decades and had grown a hump on his back in the service of the magazine. He came into the office most days at about 3 p.m. He had an ambitious reading agenda, which he charted in a series of black-and-white composition books. He supplemented his reading with the art and the music of whatever culture he was into at the time. He had started with Greece, moved on to Rome, and approached every country in Europe methodically: France, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Faeroe Islands. He became especially involved in the literature of countries behind the Iron Curtain: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania.”
For the umpteenth time, I now resolve to be more methodical in my reading!