Books I have never read but tell a story
A friend wrote an article about all the books she buys though never reads.
I’m unsure if it’s that I have several qualities about myself that I dislike or if it’s that other people have…medium.com
This got me thinking about the books I have bought, have kept though have never read. I took a quick look at the bookcase and grabbed the four in the photo.
‘On Freedom’ by Krishnamurti is probably the oldest. Each book, although not read, tells a story.
I first came across Krishnamurti when I investigating Theosophy. Krishnamurti was born in Indian in 1895 and as a young teenager came to the attention of Annie Besant a leading Theosophist. She believed that he was the sought after ‘Great Teacher’ and in a short time an organisation had been founded around him and great status bestowed on him.
After a time he rejected the status and dissolved the organisation to the great disappointment of his followers. He did later begin to teach though as one individual to another and this book contains his thoughts on Freedom.
I like the Krishnamurti story as it tells me that if people believe in you, you can believe in yourself. Would anyone have heard of Krishnamurti if he hadn’t been plucked from obscurity and made the focus of attention. He later did not believe the hype though it had become part of his experience and gave him the platform on which he continued to speak.
Often the best quotes are at the start of a book, here’s his,
“Economically, you can , perhaps, arrange the world so that man can be more comfortable, have more food, clothing, and shelter, and you may think that is freedom. Those are necessary and essential things, but that is not the totality of freedom. Freedom is a state and quality of mind.”
‘Divine Beauty’ by John O’Donoghue is the second oldest. I can see the receipt is still inside, bought in 2009 when Borders was closing. For a few short years we enjoyed this American book chain just across from us in the retail park. O’Donoghue came to prominence with ‘Anam Cara’ and although I didn’t buy it I was aware, thought it, of his writing. The purchase of ‘Divine Beauty’ was prompted by its huge reduction and that a friend had based a sermon on it. Just a one liner from his book,
“ In the experience of beauty we awaken and surrender in the same act.”
The third book is Jack Kerouac’s ‘Lonesome traveller’. A few years ago I happened upon the film ‘On the Road’ which was based on Kerouac’s autobiographical book of the same name. I was so taken by the film that I bought five of his books. I kept this one after a few clear-outs.
Kerouac and I may have more in common than I yet know though I do know he worked alone and he created his own ‘spontaneous prose’ . I have often asked why imitate when you can be yourself.
The last book is Graham Swift’s ‘Waterland’. I bought this book after I attended my first creative writing workshop. It took a journey for me to feel it was ‘ok’ to attend and that day I took a leap forward in written expression. I bought the book because the workshop tutor recommended it, I read some of it though, as I often do, I got distracted. Looking at it now it has the bookmark at page 52. Maybe one day to it I will return.
So you see these books are like what ornaments are to others, by looking at them they tell their own story, my story.