Reading maketh a complete man

City Express asks a few writers and critics on how letters changed their world and altered their perspective towards society

Published: 07th May 2013 12:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2013 12:07 PM   |  A+A-

‘Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested,’ said Francis Bacon. Books play a different role in different lives. For most it is a way of passing time, while for others it may be a means of edifying. And, for few others it may be the means of atonement that spurs their emotional and psychological growth, a food for thought. For some it’s just for keeping. But there are few for whom books mean everything.

For people like the late critic M Krishnan Nair, books were his life blood. Readings sustained his very existence. Such was his passion for books that he would handle the  precious tomes with care and tenderness. He wouldn’t touch one without washing his hands. His house were full of books that it bursted at the seams, with every room, including the kitchen stacked with them. 

So, how do our prominent writers and critic view books? City Express asks a few writers and critics on how letters changed their world and altered their perspective towards  society.

For writer Sarah Joseph, books helped mould her. “There is no moment in my life where I am not reading or writing. Books have been with me ever since I learned to read. It taught me values of life and developed my vision. It was through reading that I decided what life to live. I am sure that it will be the same for most writers,” says Sarah Joseph.

The renowned feminist writer says every book touches her in different ways.

“Reading Osho helps take life lightly. It pleases your sense while Nikos Kazantzakis deals with the depth of life and relationships. Whereas Gandhi or Buddha pampers the philosophical self in you, Marquez, M  T Vasudevan Nair and Neruda take you to different degrees of emotional fulfillments,” says Sarah Joseph.

Writer K L Mohana Varma says books were his source of enjoyment and education all through his childhood.

“I was a curious child. Reading quenched my thirst for knowledge. It opened the world of dreams in me while helping me link reality and dreams,” says Mohana Varma reminiscing the good old days when his life revolved around libraries.

Varma adds that however great the writer be, he can read the work only if it turns him on. “For me, books are not pills that I should take whether I want it or not. If a writer doesn’t interest me, I can’t read him or her,” says Varma adding that books were always a passion for him and not a vocation.

Critic M K Sanu says it was through reading various books that he developed his skill in descriptive criticism. “Reading can create good writers. It was through extensive reading of the works of Tolstoy, Shakespeare and Keats that I became a critic. A litterateur should ideally be a good reader. Moreover, extensive reading has helped me broaden the horizons of  morality and ethics,” says M K Sanu.

For younger writer Priya A S, reading created the writer in her. “I never played during my childhood. Books were my friends as I was always hospitalised. Writing was the only thing I could do in my life,” says Priya.

She adds that it was through reading that she earned the strength to face the crisis in her life. “Whenever I faced difficulties it was books that came to my aid. It showed me the light,” says Priya.

Stay up to date on all the latest Thiruvananthapuram news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp