I have a few friends whose opinion on which books to read, I can really trust. It’s a strange thing how we each find our own way through life and how on our journeys, once in a while, we stumble across a book that really changes our way of looking at things. What a joy it is then to have a friend to share the experience with. To have a person that trusts your judgement enough to make the investment to take the time to read what you read.
There can be no question in my mind that sharing a book deepens a friendship by much more than the sum of the effort of reading and the experience of the book itself. Sharing a movie or going to see a play or concert together with someone you enjoy being with can have a similar effect. But there is something about the human brains’ way of converting groups of letters that represent sounds on a page into three dimensional realities, that just does it for me. And when the experience is shared with another, somehow a kind of invisible tattoo becomes etched into us. Somehow it’s the knowing that someone else had read the same words and has gone through a similar experience.
Recently I was recommended ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s a weighty tome at 498 pages (and almost as many grams) but from the first page it grabbed me and now I am hooked.
Previous life changing books have included ‘Vermeer’s Hat’ by Timothy Brook, ‘Narcis and Goldmund’ by Herman Hesse and ‘Solving Tough Problems’ by Adam Kahane. If you are one of the people that recommended them to me, then ‘thank you’.
I have not yet finished ‘Sapiens’ yet but it won’t be long. When I have, I am not sure if I will want to discuss it with anyone, it’s more a book to reflect on and then to let it work its way into your psyche until it finds its own purpose, beyond the simple pleasure of reading it.
I hope you have a book waiting to be read, or a piece of music waiting to be listened to. I hope too that you have a few titles you can recommend to someone else, be it a friend; a lover, colleague or pupil. In the shared experience – the reason for the relationship becomes irrelevant.
Have a good week,