A Friendship Through Books

The Gifts of Reading
by Robert Macfarlane
Reading this while walking around Lasem because…why not.

Reading, a hobby I love as much as walking. Hence I bought some of Robert Macfarlene’s books on Kindle, I left his books about walking and picked this book instead. I love books, and I love book that tells stories about books.

This is a short essay about how book-giving affects Macfarlene’s life and in hope, changes the life of us as readers too. The story started with his friend named Don who was an English teacher he met in Beijing. By him Farlane knew dozens of authors that influenced his writings. When Don visited him, he gave Farlene 3 presents: a copy of Snyder’s “Mountains and Rivers Without End”, a CD of West Coast jazz, and a copy of “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh. Farlene really loved this Leigh’s book and convinced us to immediately buy or ask for a gift of it.

I don’t really know what to write on this review, not because this book is too short for a review but I think because it’s more like an introductory to read other books by others writers. By Farlene’s explanation and stories about them made me added A “Time of Gifts” along with some of recommendations he mentioned in the book to my list on books to read.

To put it simply, this is a lovely short book that made you want both to give and receive books, especially physical books. I know, weird how I read this on Kindle, yet I do believe that giving digital ones won’t really decrease its meaning. Especially if you or your loved ones travel a lot or living as minimalists.

As for right now, I won’t buy a physical copy of other Farlane’s books. But reading this, urge me to search for other books about reading and books. First is “Proust and the Squid” by Maryanne Wolf that I’ve just bought the digital copy of it: she explains the science behind reading which absolutely interesting for me. Then “Velocity of Being” by Maria Popova that still on shipping to here from UK, hope it won’t keep me waiting longer than a month. And Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman that I found in a second-hand bookstore.

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