A Velocity Of Being
Domus India|November 2019
A Velocity Of Being
A collection of illustrated letters to children about why we read reveals the agency of words, the power of articulation, and why reading is essential to make a good life, reminding us that language is a delicate yet powerful tool.
Aparna Andhare

In India, November is the month to celebrate children. November 14, the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, is Children’s Day, and social media goes into a sort of overdrive, at the very least; display pictures are changed to childhood photos, wrought with nostalgia. Honouring Nehru’s love for children, passion for progress and penchant for writing letters, this month we read A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader edited by Maria Papova and Claudia Bedrick. It is a set of 121 letters, paired with pictures, in a gorgeous production by Enchanted Lion Books, an independent publishing house specialising in illustrated children’s books, based in New York.

Editor Maria Papova is the collector of cool, best known for her website, Brain Pickings, where she explores and celebrates ideas, books, philosophy, science, music, art and more. Her own book, Figuring, is a collection of short essays on inspiring women in science and the arts. Claudia Bedrick is a philosopher, art director and publisher. Together this erudite pair has staged a coup for bibliophiles: the contributors to this collection are some of the best known and loved creatives — writers, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, musicians, producers, astronauts, teachers, psychologists, academics, and those who straddle genres. While dominated by Americans (or those living in the United States), the book has representation from Europe and the Middle East, and heads further into Asia with the illustrations. The book is vibrant, thought-provoking, and a visual delight.

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November 2019