In Chapter II of Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, one finds
With age, many men come down with testosterone autism, the symptoms of which are a gradual decline in social intelligence and capacity for interpersonal communication, as well as a reduced ability to formulate thoughts. The Person beset by this Ailment becomes taciturn and appears to be lost in contemplation. He develops an interest in various Tools and machinery, and he's drawn to the Second World War and the biographies of famous people, mainly politicians and villains. His capacity to read novels almost entirely vanishes; testosterone autism disturbs the character's psychological understanding.
Well, that's one way to forestall objections by the grouchy old fellow in the neighborhood book club who doesn't like the novel.
In reviewing Eric Partridge's etymological dictionary Origins, Jacques Barzun put the matter differently when remarking on the taste for works of reference that grows with age:
This is not so crabbed and fossilized as it sounds. It does not mean that one is incapable of enthusiasm for a new novel or book of poems. What it means that it has taken forty or fifty years to pursue and possess the great works of world literature, to discover the no less great works that by accident or perversity only a few recognize, and to pick out from the confetti of one's own times the few precious pieces that define not so much one's mind or taste as one's direction. What more is one offered? In spite of all generous illusions to the contrary, it is not true that a masterpiece in every genre is published every seven days. Only a weekly reviewer believes that, and even he believes it only on the seventh day. From which it follows that in privileged lives, free from reviewer's cramp, the intensity of response to new fiction, new poetry, new philosophy, new criticism, and new histories cannot help being tempered with the years. In compensation, the judgment grows stronger, buttressed as it is by the great piles of octavos incorporated into one's fabric. To have a library of 25,000 volumes under one's belt is a sobering cargo, even if most of them are mere bulk. The eye of the seasoned reader, without being lackluster, is generally hooded, and the mind, if could be seen, would betray as regards the last sweet published thing a daunting serenity.
("A Search for Roots", collected in A Word or Two Before You Go.)
I have been reading for about sixty years now, and must say that I have never read anything like the 400 volumes per year that would be required to approach the 25 thousand mark. Still, I recognize something of the tendency in myself.