A Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Reader

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       May 22, 2019


Author  edited by Maria Popova, Claudia Bedrick

Distributor:      New South Books
ISBN:                 9781592702282
Publisher:         Enchanted Lion Books |
Release Date:   December 2018  

Website:    https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au 

By the time she was in third grade Poet, naturalist and essayist Diane Ackerman already knew where to find heroes, monsters and so much more. Caroline Paul discovered books were a refuge and a source of great wisdom. Terry Teachout came to terms with the fact that in books you can be anything but ordinary. You can be a pirate, a King, an explorer or whoever you want to be; you simply do not need to be you!

A Velocity of being – Letters to a young reader takes a journey into the lives of some fascinating people; writers, poets, scientists, journalists, explorers; people who have made a difference in this world, people like you and me who discovered books at an early age and the difference they made in their lives, both as children and adults.

Each of the people that make up this charming anthology share a story about books; their love of reading, escapism, learning and pleasure discovered on the pages of a book.

Born from a desire to keep books and the beloved pastime of reading alive and well in an age that was fast heading towards the extinction of books as we have known them since time memorial, Claudia Bedrick, an independent publisher of children’s books and Maria Popova, author and writer combined their talents, along with eight years of hard work and dedication, to build a work of memoirs from so many of the people who had influenced either their lives or others’ lives in some wonderful way or another. People such as Neil Gaimen, Jacqueline Woodson, Mathew Burgess, Lise Solomon and another 120 others who helped to create this treasure.

Coupled with superb illustrations from celebrated graphic artists or illustrators adds a superb element to the stories as each of the invited contributors shares a special moment in their lives, when books offered solace, allowed them to escape to another world, offered a gateway to their future, bought laughter and adventures unimaginable.

A Velocity of Being is a work born of love, full of love and offered with love to readers, young and old of this world, who still need to do all the things the generations of readers gone before loved to do; travel via the armchair to far flung places, escape on a secret mission to a save the world, at the very least, join an adventurer as they travel with dog-sleds across the icepacks of the world or learn more about the places, spaces and people who make up our world.

Poetry, prose, simple letters, longer discussions, graphic, actually comic book tales, options to travel into space for just a moment or two, all rub shoulders to create a masterpiece of both children’s and adults reading that will become a treasure to be passed on through the generations.

All the contributions that make up this wonderful, rich book have been offered with love and the desire to reach out to a new generation, to encourage reading. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the New York public library system ‘because libraries are bastions of democracy and the oxygen for the life of the mind………….’

David Bowies idea of perfect happiness was reading, What is yours……………………perhaps, hopefully, reading!