Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday evening quote

From Sonia Faleiro's essay "The Book Boys of Mumbai", in the current NYTimes Book Review:

The tragic irony of Mumbai’s illicit book trade is that its best salesmen will never fully understand the value of what they’re selling. They can rattle off book titles and the names of best-selling authors. But because they forgo school for work, they can’t read, and so view books as no different from anything else they’ve sold — like boxes of tissues or bags of oranges. The pleasure, indeed the magic, of literature that shapes so many avid readers as children, defining who we are and influencing what we make of our lives, is beyond their reach. Yakub is poignantly aware of this. “I’ve grown up with novels,” he told me. “But I have never read one.”

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