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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Joy of Reading

 

Having for the last six nights gone to bed with my trusty can-opener without which I would've starved to death, I've finally gone into town to get myself a few Chinese take-aways and TV dinners - or rather ABC Classic FM radio dinners because during Padma's absence this house is a TV-free zone.

"Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man" was St. Francis Xavier's nostrum. Well, there was no television for the first seven years of my life in Germany, and so I never missed it for the rest of my life either. There was no television in South-West Africa or New Guinea or the Solomons, nor in Burma or on Thursday Island or in Samoa, and what little I saw of it in Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia or Greece was in languages I didn't understand.

I cultivated the habit of reading instead, or perhaps it cultivated me because a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies whereas the man who never reads lives only one. Or, as my favourite authour Somerset W. Maugham wrote, "To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. "

Instead of buying a TV guide, why not buy this passionate guide to 189 of the world's best books? Here's a short teaser to whet your appetite:

 

 

It starts off with "Reading is my favorite thing to do. When I was ten and supposed to go to sleep at a certain time, I read under the covers with a flashlight until my father told me I would ruin my eyes. I didn’t stop; I was willing to risk my sight to enjoy the pleasures of reading. In fact he was wrong; after seventy years I can still read, even without glasses if there’s enough light." How I can relate to this! ☺


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