Sunday, March 3, 2013

Found in translation

Someone recently asked me how many books I read in a year. It turns out I read about 50 books in any particular year. I don't remember ever not being "behind" on my personal reading list or promising not to buy another book until I have finished what I have in queue to read. I always break that promise.

What's in a book? Oh boy. That's a loaded question. If you are reading my blog, written in English, my second language, and it is the only language you know, then you are in luck since English is the language most works are translated into. This makes our reading choices so many more. Of course, if you know more than one language, then, well, you are golden. You get to experience even more. In books we find inspiration, new perspectives, entertainment, expanded awareness and understanding. In books we learn about other cultures, beliefs and ways of relating. We find ideas, concepts and rhetorical questions. When we read books we travel through time and geographical and cultural boundaries. We see that we are so small, part of humanity, that our problems are not that unique, that we are not alone. In a book we connect to the world. In a book we can get lost with no risk, except for the danger of coming back changed.

Today is a good day to get lost in a book. Who knows what you may find in translation...

Ideas of books to travel by:
The Diary of Anne Frank, Le Petit Prince, Great Expectations, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Les Misérables, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Iliad, A Passage to India, Ulysses, Doctor Zhivago, The Name of the Rose, The Brothers Karamazov, The Great Gatsby, The Divine Comedy, Drift, Grapes of Wrath, Pinnochio, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Daughter of Fortune, This is How You Lose Her, The House on the Lagoon, Blink, The Wind Through the Keyhole, The Color Purple, Reinventing Back, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Don Quixote, The DaVinci Code, The Hobbit, Perfume, Anne of Green Gables, Freakonomics, Gone with the Wind, The Power of Now, The Firm, Guerilla Warfare, The Republic, Walden, Tao Te Ching, The Devil in the White City...

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