“I’m no stranger to the joy of words. I read voraciously. It is important to read for pleasure. Books have an important place in my life,” said Dr Shashi Tharoor, acclaimed author and Member of Parliament at the NBT Foundation Day Lecture on Books and Reading in today’s India at the Constitution Club, New Delhi on 1 August 2012.
Reflecting on his evolution as writer, he said that he started writing when he was eight years old and published his first book when he was twelve. In this he added he was encouraged by his parents.
Looking at contemporary Indian with growing competition in the industry the books that are appealing to the youth like pulp fiction and the books for discerning readers should be published. He also talked about the challenges to inculcate reading habit amongst people especially young people. He said young would have to make an attempt to read.
“Language is a vehicle and not destination”, said Dr Tharoor while appreciating NBT’s effort by translating books in other Indian languages. He said writings do have an impact on the society. Shri Ashok Thakur, IAS, Secretary (HE), Ministry of Human Resource Development presided over the function.
Earlier, Shri M A Sikandar welcomed the guests present on the occasion. To mark the 55th Foundation Day, National Book Trust, India has initiated an annual lecture series with eminent scholars, intellectuals, litterateurs and the others who have made significant contributions to the world of publishing. It is hoped that this series of lectures will extend the debate on the importance and promotion of books and reading in today’s context to the public domain and bring in critical thinking. Today’s lecture by Dr Tharoor is the first in the series.