John says that he is very tired after spending the afternoon reading microfiche and isn't doing much else during his time in Washington. I'm impressed he is still able to spend hours reading microfiche--that is hard for anyone. They do have new machines at the Library of Congress that instead of paying for a photocopy will email a PDF of the selected page, so he doesn't have to take notes.
Part of the confusing thing about evaluating cognitive function is that it is relative to where you start. John started in a place where he could lose some function and still be above average in verbal skills.