‘Your books have given me wisdom. All that the unresting thought of man has created in the ages is compressed into a small compass in my brain’ – The Bet by Anton Chekhov. On World Book Day (April 23), Muscat Daily spoke to some serious readers.
Cultural worker and social observer
After the two great wars of the last century, COVID-19 is the greatest tragedy and challenge facing mankind. But on World Book Day, book lovers around the world are celebrating like me. A re-reading of what was previously read. Reading new books. Just a little bit of context with nature. Fresh water flows through the rivers…humans speak without rush…natural exploitation is over for a while. This may be a milestone in our journey. A chance to be recognised. A warning of nature. What will happen after this pestilence is unpredictable.
Disasters can paralyse us…but it also in some way throws an opportunity. A time when the world has been pushed inside houses because of a virus, it also has pushed many people closer to books. I have already read several books due to the lockdown. The joy that one gets when reading a book is akin to gaining new experiences.
Reading can sharpen thoughts and provide new understanding and experiences. But in the contemporary world there is also the fear that reading will die. But the figures show that modern technologies can help reading to conquer new heights. It is a joy to see the steady growth in the number of readers as they turn from books to electronic media.
It is true that coronavirus has in many ways changed mankind’s behaviour. Today, not all in lockdown are infected with the coronavirus but many have understood the benefits of reading. The lockdown period has enabled man to know the depth of the diverse literary works available.
(Picture and text by V K Shafeer)
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