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A velocity of being: o livro incrível sobre leitura


«A velocity of being: letters to a young reader» é uma edição de Maria Popova, a autora do incrível The Marginalian (antigo Brain Pickings), e de Claudia Bedrick.

Este livro reúne cartas de escritores, como Rebecca Solnit, a Elizabeth Gilbert, o Neil Gaiman, jornalistas, activistas, poetas como a Mary Oliver, filósofos, cientistas, como a Jane Goodall, guionistas como a Shonda Rhimes astrónomos, músicos, sobreviventes da segunda guerra mundial, e outras personalidades a jovens leitores. Cada carta é acompanhada de uma ilustração. Não é necessariamente um livro para crianças, é um livro que se adequa a todas as idades.

Como em qualquer colectânea deste género, há cartas que me disseram mais do que outras. Houve algumas de que gostei especialmente, como a de Neil Gaiman:

Dear Person Reading This, 

A writer can fit a whole world inside a book. Really. You can go there. You can learn things while you are away. You can bring them back to the world you normally live in.

You can look out of another person's eyes, think their thoughts, care about what they care about.

You can fly. You can travel to the starts. You can be a monster or a wizard or a god. You can be a girl. You can be a boy. Books give you world of infinitive possibility. All you have to do is be interested enough to read that first page...

Somewhere, there is a book written just for you. It will fit your mind like a glove fits your hand. And it's waiting. Go and look for it.

Também adorei esta de Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie (poeta e escritora). Isto é só um excerto:

One of the oddest American sayings is: "Curiosity killed the cat." What does it mean when a culture says this? It means stay in your place. Keep your head down. Don't ask questions. Stick with what you know. If it's different, leave it alone. It means don't cross the border. Don't colour outside the lines. Stay put because wherever your curiosity takes you could be dangerous.

Here to the rescue come books, with their covers and pages beckoning. "Bring your curiosity. It's welcome here." Books show us people who pray another way, speak a language we haven't heard, wear clothing and hairstyles we've never imagined, eat food we don't see in our supermarkets. And books show us all we have in common, surrounding us with community we didn't know we needed. Showing us there is no "other". Books let us know we're nt the center of the universe; the universe has many centers.

I looked up "curiosity". It means: a desire to know and learn. Inquisitive. An old meaning is: accomplished with skill or ingenuity. For my ancestors in this country, a desire to know and learn often meant punishment or even death. Maybe curiosity did kill the cat, but the spirit of who I am and who we are has never died. In fact, it's contained in something my mother says. If someone tells her "curiosity killed the cat" she responds "satisfaction brought him back".

If my ancestors weren't curious in the oldest sense of the word, I certainly wouldn't be here. So my advice to you is the same I give my daughters: Keep asking questions. Color outside the lines. Draw your own pictures. Draw your own maps. Create your own legends.

I wish you joy on your quest.

Só mais uma carta de que também gostei muito. Esta é da Debbie Millman:

Dear Reader,

I want to tell you that everything will be okay.

I want to tell you that it will get better.

I want to tell you that it all works out in the end.

But sometimes it doesn't.

Most times it is hard and we usually end up getting used to it. But there is something you can do in response: read.

Read until your heart breaks and you can't stand it anymore. Read until you have paper cuts from turning pages or blisters from swiping a screen.

You see, here's the thing: even at their worst, books won't abandon you. If they make you cry, it's only because they are that good.

You can depend on books. They will always be there for you. Their patience if infinite and they have been known to save lives. (...)

Books - like dogs - are among a handful of things on this planet that just want to be loved. And they will love you back, generously and selflessly, requiring very little in return - until they are complete, their light and their wisdom and their sputtering to an inevitably, lonely end.

E há uma carta escrita por uma portuguesa neste livro! Foi escrita por Isabel Minhós Martins da Planeta Tangerina.

É um livro incrível que infelizmente não está traduzido em português. Os lucros da venda revertem para o sistema de bibliotecas públicas de Nova Iorque.