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[Saturday Reads] The Joy That Reading Brings

"A Velocity Of Being" edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick.


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

A Velocity Of Being: Letters To A Young Reader (Amazon | Book Depository)

Edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick Published by Enchanted Lion Books (2018)
ISBN: 1592702287 (ISBN13: 9781592702282) Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

When I first learned about this book through Maria Popova’s BrainpickingsI immediately pre-ordered it. It took its time being published, but it was definitely worth the wait. The entire book consists of 121 letters from famous individuals (from Yo-Yo Ma to Neil Gaiman, Marina Abramovic to Jane Goodall) paired with art by outstanding illustrators from around the world.

In her Introduction, she describes this brainchild of hers conceived with Claudia Bedrick, in this manner:

From these micro-memoirs and reflections by lifelong readers who have made extraordinary lives for themselves emerges a kind of encyclopedia of personhood, an atlas of possibility for the land of being mapped through the land of literature.

There were a number of essays that spoke to me, but I am only highlighting three here.

To read is to take a stranger’s hand and plunge into experiences you want and don’t want, learning all the while to navigate the unexpected places real life will take you. To read is to experience the most humanizing of surprises: that someone else’s far away mind has given rise to words with their own distinct voice and color and sound, and yet their words touch and echo and mirror places deep inside you. – Krista Tippett

Matthew Burgess’ poetry paired with Jenni Desmond’s art on the right was just the soothing voice I needed to hear.

Reading Pamela Paul has made me hopeful that in the very near future, I will spend the rest of my life just reading books – and actually earn a pretty good living from it. So I declare, so it shall be.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “[Saturday Reads] The Joy That Reading Brings

  1. Pingback: [My 2021 in Books] Favourite Books Read in 2021 – Gathering Books

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