Excursions Of A Bibliophile

What are u reading these days?

A pick of a book….

Posted by Vish Mangalapalli on August 27, 2019

Elder one was at home for a brief two day break from college. While going back he expressed a wish to carry a few books to read. After extracting the usual assurances of keeping the books safe and returning them on his next trip, I allowed him to pick the books of his choice while refraining the urge to thrust my recommendations on him. In the evening he showed me his picks. It contained the following:

1. Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy
2. E.F.Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful”
3. Nehru’s “Discovery of India”
4. Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”

The last choice surprised me a lot and am not sure if he will stay on course with the book. Knowing his temperament there is a outside chance that he may stick on. To read Dostoevsky at 18 is not a easy thing. The impact of his writing is qualitatively way too different and way too forceful when compared to the writings of any other writer. One needs to go through an experience of deep anguish, depressing situations and stark portrayals of human suffering to see the light at the end of the tunnel in his writings – and Dostoevsky is a master in making the tunnel a very long one. But may be that is what a kind of good writing/reading is all about or should be all about: Making readers travel through mandatory tunnels of darkness to see the light at the end of it.

And no reader is ever the same post Dostoevsky.

In his classic, “The Spectator Bird”, Wallace Stegner at one point and in a moment of exasperation exclaims to himself “… The chances we take, getting born so accidentally!” Reading in some aspects is no different from Life – all it needs is a bit of paraphrasing Stegner… “… The chances we take picking a book so accidentally!”

Happy reading boy !!

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