I should have found Tea Obrehdt by any case. She was not an author who had attracted me, and she definitely did not attract me at the first sight. Yet, as I stood before the monuments created by second hand books, I found “The Tiger’s Wife” alluring, and there I was reading it at 6 AM in the morning with my heart content like it hadn’t been since, forever.
It is not that I loved the book too much, or even that I am going to recommend it to everyone I know. It’s just that, it was something I never thought I would read, and I did end up reading her. As I did with Elena Ferrante, suddenly she was in my radar, and I found a copy of her book with me, and I felt like that was quite inexplicable. Then, I read about her and I was in love.
In the era of curated lists and online content which is at the tip of our fingers, we have somehow become less experimental. Stuck in the endless cycle of recommendations which are maintained by algorithms and a media which highlights only select books throughout the year, we never experiment. We don’t go the one step farther.
It’s scary really, as an author, as a person, to see that before me, the endless possibilities dying because we just won’t go out of our zone.
Problem remains that reading things that show the world in colors that we think it already is dangerous. For most times the only reason we do not accept other people is because we have never seen their viewpoints. It is scary really. Works of art are a lesson in real life and that helps us.
Maybe, I am not educated about the Balkan states by reading “The Tiger’s WIfe” and probably Elena Ferrante is not going to make me fall for Italy. Yet, it had given me an outlook to the world I did not cultivate earlier, and that aids me in understanding them better, seeing them better.
We need to peek out of the covers and stare at the world around us, and read new things. It could begin with a visit to the library or to a second hand book shop. Something where you have the world before you and you go towards a stranger book with a smile on your face. Some times you need to take a jump to find the romance at your lips and that is necessary.