All Quiet on the Western Front

What happens when Paul tries to retrieve his familiarity with his books?

this is from chapter 7

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Paul realizes that he cannot bring back the feelings and hopes he had before the war. He waits for the urge and desire he used to have, the dreams of the future his books inspired, but they do not come.

I feel excited; but I do not want to be, for that is not right. I want that quiet rapture again. I want to feel the same powerful, nameless urge that I used to feel when I turned to my books. The breath of desire that then arose from the coloured backs of the books, shall fill me again, melt the heavy, dead lump of lead that lies somewhere in me and waken again the impatience of the future, the quick joy in the world of thought, it shall bring back again the lost eagerness of my youth. I sit and wait.


All Quiet on the Western Front