Skip to main content

Love letter to future readers

When asked in a famous questionnaire devised by the great French writer Marcel Proust about his idea of perfect happiness, David Bowie answered simply: "Reading."

Leaf over A Velocity of Being and you’ll find yourself immersed in one long love letter to future readers. An homage to the love of reading. In actuality, the book is really made up of a series of smaller letters, each with its own artistic pairing. It feels like we've been gifted a beautiful work of inspiration. It's a treat to revel in the beauty of many smaller notes, each a literary feat, each written by a writer who has dared to step into the arena where words mean something.

In a digital era where reading a physical book may be considered old-fashioned, and readers are constantly scanning text, A Velocity of Being is even more paramount. This book with over 260 pages carries with it a presence to be admired; it is delightfully satisfying to hold, and even more rewarding to peruse through. There is an inherent need to inspire young generations, to think beyond just a world of robots and artificial intelligence. Connecting with literature, will bring infinite joy of storytelling and understanding of their world and the people around them.

Flip through the pages of A Velocity of Being and you’ll marvel how much depth is covered; while keeping the format of the book very simple. Each letter is a story about how reading shaped their career and their destiny. Each letter was also paired with an illustrator, artist or graphic designer to bring it's message to life visually. This simply adds another level of enjoyment, expanding the reader's appreciation for books.

Laura Brown-Lavole writes about how when she's reading a good book, she's under a blanket and no one is trying to talk to her. She forgets that she's reading. "The tall grass of the story grows in around me, and I'm just another silent creature whose heart beats in that world. If I sit still and keep reading that way, sometimes a sentence stalks by as lovely as a lioness." 

One of my personal faves is Neil Gaiman's letter that talks about books taking you places. It reminds me of another of my favourite children's books Oh the places you'll go! It highlights the power of books, by empowered and saluting the writer. "A writer can fit a whole world inside a book. Really. You can go there. You can learn things while you are away." 

In four short paragraphs, Neil Gaiman packs a lot of punch. Each short sentence can be diced to extract oodles of inspiration. "You can look out of another person's eyes, think their thoughts, care about what they care about." 

Don’t let the crayon drawings fool you; there is an ineradicable appetite for travel into the unknown. Words and ideas will inevitably linger in the imagination for a lifetime, and the young reader is destined to become a voracious consumer of words.

If you have never heard about the author of A Velocity of Being, then you have truly been missing out on a literary gem. Maria Popova is a writer, blogger, literary and cultural critic, who every week inspires readers in her contemporary blog called Brain Pickings, a meticulously curated collections of ideas and inspiration from the literary world. Brain Pickings has been called an “online emporium of ideas” by New York Times.

“Her exhaustively assembled grab bag of scientific curiosities, forgotten photographs, snippets of old love letters and mash notes to creativity — imagine the high-mindedness of a TED talk mixed with the pop sensibility of P. T. Barnum — spans a blog (500,000 visitors a month), a newsletter (150,000 subscribers) and a Twitter feed (263,000 followers). Her output, which she calls a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness,” has attracted an eclectic group of devotees including the novelist William Gibson, the singer Josh Groban, the comedian Drew Carey, the neuroscientist David Eagleman, the actress Mia Farrow and the Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.”

This is a book that should be sitting in everyone’s bookshelf. Every sentence ignites a spark of inspiration, each letter invokes movement, and each drawing taps into the artistic vein. 

Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who believes in the power of storytelling to connect readers, and strives for diversity and inclusivity. A Velocity of Being is published by Enchanted Lion Books. Copy provided by Publishers Group Canada.

Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)