On Reading

ফারুক হাসান's picture
Submitted by faha on Wed, 22/08/2012 - 8:33am

My two-and-half years old son is the most vivid reader in the family (his mother usually picks not less than ten books for him each week from the library and every one of them is new, each week). The alphabet books are full of pictures, those he reads by himself. We read the storybooks while he browses through the pictures, lying on his bed at night. Its a shame that I am the legitimate card holder of the library, but so far I have picked only two books as loan to read at home. I am just an average reader for my age and I regret for that. I wish I had read more! But as they say, better late than never. As my leisure times are shrinking day by day, my appetite for reading books are growing exponentially.

Several books I enjoyed reading which I should have read with more matured head. Or may be, they made me matured enough. Examples? I read two books of Humayun Azad as early as they were published, namely “Nari” and “Amar Obisswas”. I still cherish those moments of reading Amar Obisswas. What a book! What a first chapter!

During my college and university years, “Jibonananda Shomogro” was my bible. Still it is, but I don't have much time for sacred recital nowadays.

I read Humayun Ahmed. In other words, I usually do not miss the chance of reading a Humayun as soon as it is on sight. And I forget. I forget the title, the story, the characters (not the big ones like Misir Ali, Mohan Fiha or Himu). I also forget a lot of movies after watching them. But that does not mean that I did not enjoy watching them. Of course, I like to read for pleasure. This also implies that the text should be like a rain, not a man-made fountain. They must flow or fall naturally, like the wordings of Ahmed Chhafa's Jadyapi Amar Guru. Once finished, its like standing beneath a Kodomb tree after a downpour. So soothing.

As a scientist, I skim through the abstracts of tens of scholarly articles on my field of research and read at least couple of them almost every day, not to mention the utmost attention that I pay to the detail. However, they are more of professional activities rather than reading for pleasure. Having said that, I did found some interesting research articles which intrigued my interest as a general reader. One of them was Professor Prausnitz's “Chemical Engineering and the Post-Modern World”, which was full of retrospects and insights. Whatever your profession is, I am sure, you will find such delightfully well-poised and thoughtful articles relating the profession, the world, society and life.

I read blogs, mainly written in Bangla. Over the years, my list has been very limited to those blogs posted in Sachalayatan. Nevertheless, I came to know a lot of souls and about their passions and the echos of their inner-selves. Books are different, they demand certain attention, always. Blogs are birds, you open your window and there they are, not caring about who are watching, contained but ready to fly on wish.

I am reading Machiavelli. I started with the Prince. Why did I start reading Machiavelli? I was reading this post by S M Mahbub Morshed. Someone in the comment section referred to an article on corporate politics which, by the way, was a nice piece of article. On that article, the author mentioned about Machiavelli's Prince. A 21st-century-corporate-guy refers to someone who died 500 years ago? Interesting!

Its not that I just heard about Machiavelli. It was something on that article which grew my curiosity to that level of finding the book from the local library and read the several chapters on the first sitting. The reading was interesting. I actually took my son with me for story-telling on the third floor of the library and I had to go down to change my parking from one place to another every 30 minutes. In between, I read.

Anyways, I read the Prince and found it outrageous. This is from a reader with no background on political science. Please have mercy. To cool my heated neurons, if you like to put it that way, I am reading “The Discourse”. Now, here's a contrasting piece!

About reading piecemeal, I would like to mention reading the social scientists. Read them, read their stand-alone articles first. Like some and then start with their books, monologs or ethnographic studies. Has anybody read “The Lucifer Effect”?

Or, how about reading speeches? No speech that I have read so far bored me. There must be many boring speeches out there. But till now, happily or ignorantly, I have come across not a single one of them. Here is another thing: if you find the written draft of the speech boring, don't google for the video (I guarantee, it would be worse). Happily or luckily, its not the other way around when it comes to well-crafted speeches. Then again, whats the point of looking for videos if you have already read them? You've got the message by reading it, haven't you? You may try, however, imaging how the speaker had originally delivered those lines verbally. I try this all the time. Try this one for yourself...http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/88/33K92/


Lingcon's picture

" And I forgot.I forgot the title, the story, the characters." This happens here too. Sometimes I forgot in a way that I get the same level of pleasure reading the same book again.

ফারুক হাসান's picture

I think, many of Humayun readers have the same experience.

আনোয়ার সাদাত শিমুল's picture

Very well written...
I enjoyed the rhythm of your storytelling হাসি

ফারুক হাসান's picture

Thanks, Shimul!

অতিথি লেখক's picture

স্টীভ ক্যারেলের বক্তৃতা টা মজার। ধন্যবাদ।

-- জ্যোতিস্কর দাদু

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