Dear friends, I have a big problem!

Often I think that we are from different worlds.

It is not because I lived 40 years in the USSR or I am a bit older than many of you.

I know that all of you love reading. I am sure that you met at some time quotes below:

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Joseph Addison

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.

Rene Descartes

He that loves reading has everything within his reach.

William Godwin

Who I am, what I am, is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, a lifetime of stories. And there are still so many more books to read. I’m a work in progress.

Sarah Addison Allen

So what is the problem?

I think it is in our ways of reading.

Let me explain.

When I was 8 years old I went in the library in Tashkent and a librarian told me: “I see that you love to read. Let’s do it in a right way! First read all books of fairy tales, then I’ll give you books about myths, then we’ll go through classics, then you can read books of philosophers, then some science fiction. After it you are on your own.”

This is exactly what we did. Nine years later I graduated from the high school and at that time I read many, many books written in Russian or translated from different languages into Russian. Since 1975 I also read thousands of books written in English or translated into English.

Today I don’t know how much you read or what you read. But it is very important to know!

Why? Because you can understand and accept my thoughts or posts only if you are ready for it.

Blogs are a new way of conversation. Writing and reading blogs is exercise of minds. And all of us are “work in progress”.

If we believe that we know everything, if our opinions are fixed and we are unable or not willing to follow and consider thoughts of others we stopped our growth. It means that we are mentally dying.

Several followers of this blog asked me who is my favorite author. I could not answer this question because I have favorite authors from many countries.

Today I want to mention one of them. He was born In Germany. His name is Erich Maria Remarque.

Please let me know if you read his books. If yes what his books you liked most.

Thank you!

Painting by JF

Painting by JF

43 thoughts on “Reading

  1. When I was about 6 my mum supported me by selling cosmetics door to door. She did not make much money! Outside of school hours she left me in the local library in Cronulla. The librarians were there and they were good to me. Funnily enough they sent me down the same route that your librarian in Tashkent led you! I reckon there must have once been a worldwide librarian conspiracy! Joke aside – they actually did send me through that same reading regime!

    • I remember this librarian with gratitude for 7 decades. My parents and grandparents were not educated enough and were struggling to survive. She was a leading light in my life.

      • I read it in my late teens (alas over three decades ago). To be honest I can barely remember it, but I think that was because teen Greg was searching for stories of war heroes. Gritty reality is disappointing and of no interest to someone that age. I should really re-read it.

        • The beauty of this book is that it is a mixture of a “gritty reality” with extraordinary love and friendship. It is written by a master! 😉

  2. I enjoy reading any books with the topic of art. As discussed above I have had not one, but three lovely librarians in my life 😀 Every now and then I try writing my own books.

  3. The question is simple and the answer is a humble no but I will. I rely on recommendation to lead me thorugh this life – from the first teacher at pre-school to now I have the same philosophy. I will find him and order him and come back to you 🙂

  4. I enjoy reading most genres science, biography, narrative, business. I love the discovery of authors unknown to me. Though “All Quiet…” is one of my favorite movies. I’ve just requested “Heaven Has No Favorites”

    • Please let us know if you liked it. By the way, the author had an extraordinary life, full of adventures, dangers, meetings with famous people, love and friendship.

        • As I loved reading and was a speed reader I usually read ALL available books by an author I liked. In Russia, then in the USSR and now in Russia again there were many excellent translators from many languages. Today I often read books of foreign authors in Russian if English translations are not available.

  5. JF< YOU have touched a subject that breeches my heart. If all students learned nothing but written communication, all the same happenings and inventions would be, the only difference would be that all would understand! My belief!

  6. A very long time ago I read All Quiet on the Western Front. I spent a lot of time in libraries but I didn’t have a librarian who told me what to read. The library was small but full of good books and I read and read whatever was available.

  7. So the post lady delivered and I have read The Three Comrades and I loved it. I love the relationship between the 3 and then 4 friends. The bitter twists in this tale and the sad poignant ending. I will read more of his. Of course I was familiar with All’s Quiet as a movie but I have now ordered the book. Erich Maria Remarque is now an author I will dip into again and again and you may find quoted on my own blog. Thank you so much for the introduction. Bookworm I may be but limited, clearly by upbringing, time and place of birth etc. As, I suppose are we all.

    • I am glad that you liked the book. It’s REAL life in the best sense of it. Everything ends but happiness of love and friendship never forgotten. By the way, Remarque’s
      life was very interesting!.

      • Yes, I do … very much though I haven’t read her for many years. We share a birthday actually! My mother is also a fan of hers 🙂

        • I read all her books and reread many of them. I love their warmth, understanding and love of people, wonderful descriptions of places in England and Scotland.

          • You have reminded me to revisit her … My mother has all her books on her shelves so when I next visit her I shall ‘borrow’ … you are so right – she has a wonderful understanding and love of people and her descriptions of place are very accurate and compelling 🙂

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