This is a little gem of a book-the perfect Christmas gift for lovers of reading! Reading Pleasures is filled with gorgeous photographs and artworks, each paired with an inspiring quotation. Book lover and host of The Book Club Jennifer Byrne introduces the book magnificently in her Foreword: 'Here are brief quotations and observations on the reading life, accompanied by illustrations from the National Library of Australia's own collection'. They 'amount to a celebration-and examination-of the lifelong, earthy, impossible-to-explain love affair between readers and their books.' We all read in different ways: some in a private moment revelling in the escape that reading allows, or some with an eye to sharing and discussing. Tim Winton sums up reading in one word: 'privacy'. But for others, reading is company. 'As long as you have the capacity to read,' says Elliot Perlman, 'you needn't be alone any more'. Or as Richard Flanagan puts it in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, when his hero Dorrigo Evans stands in his library: 'he was not alone'. And Miles Franklin wonderfully describes the place we go to when we are reading as 'book-land'.
To return to Jennifer: 'As the chorus of voices in this book makes clear, there are as many ways to read as there are to live.'