nonrequired reading

… One more comment from the heart: I’m old fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised. Homo Ludens dances, sings, produces meaningful gestures, strikes poses, dresses up, revels and performs elaborate rituals. I don’t wish to diminish the significance of these distractions-without them human life would pass in unimaginable monotony and possibly dispersion and defeat. But these are group activities above which drifts a more or less perceptible whiff of collective gymnastics. Homo Ludens with a book is free. At least as free as he’s capable of being. He himself makes up the rules of the game, which are subject only to his own curiosity. He’s permitted to read intelligent books, from which he will benefit, as well as stupid ones, from which he may also learn something. He can stop before finishing one book, if he wishes, while starting another at the end and working his way back to the beginning. He may laugh in the wrong places or stop short at words he’ll keep for a life time. And finally, he’s free-and no other hobby can promise this-to eavesdrop on Montaigne’s arguments or take a quick dip in the Mesozoic.

― Wisława SzymborskaNonrequired Reading

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I recently read ‘View With a Grain of Sand’…and though it may be nonrequired reading, I would highly recommend it.

    1. Sigrun says:

      I will spend some time this summer with Szymborska, very much looking forward to read her translated work!

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