Random Thoughts

The Art of Reading & the Craft of Writing

I personally feel ‘Reading’ is as much an art as ‘Writing’. Please note I am not talking about the ‘Education & Text books’ writing or reading. I am mentioning regarding creative writing. I come across as most of the writers are avid readers also. Unless, they read, comprehend and analyze they cannot become a writer; or nothing will induce or motivate them write something of their own. (writing in FB is of different genre; so I am not commenting on that!)
When I started writing stories and gave my books to some of my friends to read they accepted them gladly. Response? Nothing. There is nothing wrong in giving negative comments. But, some of my colleagues would be more curious to know about whom I have written a particular story as I (every writer) draw charcters from people around me! Because of this, I have faced troubles also; but anyway, that will also manifest in the form of another story for me later!
I will come back to the first sentence. I was a member of an elite technical committee where I had three very distinguished persons who are highly qualified and held very good position with a wonderful well educated family background. When the committee was reconstituted with new members, the chairman of the committee hosted a lunch for three of us since he was also retiring. It is customary to gift some momento to the host, I thought. Among the three of us one gave him a shawl, and I gave him three books of mine; two short stories collection of mine and another one, a translation on endeavors of some successful Indian entrepreneurs who thought differently and become successful. (In English it was supposedly a best seller!) I didn’t just give them to the host but also to the other two. They expressed happiness on receiving a different type of souvenir. That is all. I didn’t receive even one word comment on any of the books I have given. One of them had even palmed them off to somebody; the receiver showed it me later.
Another publisher friend of mine confided to me that once he used to present good books as a gift to the newly married. But, soon he realized that it is of no use to them. So he said he stopped doing that.I too stopped giving books those who do not read or bother to respond. It is no loss to both sides.
In a recent literary meeting I have attended, a well known Tamizh book publisher said that we are creating a generation which can neither read nor comprehend the text matter leave alone responding. I really felt dreadful to think about it! Perhaps he is preposterous.
I wish he is.


More by :  G Swaminathan

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