Only a good reader can be a writer, says Ruskin Bond - GulfToday

Only a good reader can be a writer, says Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond shares a photograph with his books.

Gulf Today Report

Much admired and widely-read author Ruskin Bond, 85, believes that it's from a love of reading that a writer comes to a love of writing, and penning a book does not always translate to the author becoming immortal.

"There's only one way to become a writer, that's to be a reader. If you look at the lives of all writers who are successful, you'd find that when they were boys or girls, they were readers and bookworms. It's from a love of reading that you come to a love of writing.


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"Writers do get forgotten. Sometimes we think writing a book gives us some sort of immortality, I assure you it doesn't. Ninety-nine percent of writers over the ages have been forgotten, you don't know that some of them have been very good.”

“Writing is something you do anyway, regardless of whether it is going to make you rich or famous around the world or in your country," Bond said at Arth, a cultural fest, in the national capital.

Ruskin Bond reads a book at his residence.

Landour-based Bond, an Indian author of British descent and a Padma Bhushan awardee, published his first novel "The room on the roof", the semi-autobiographical story of the orphaned Anglo-Indian boy named Rusty, at the age of 17, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (1957).

“I began writing very early, and writing somehow wasn't very fashionable back in the 1950s when I finished school. Today I keep meeting youngsters and even oldsters who want to write and are writing books. It seems to be the in-thing.”

“I was determined to be a writer, and when I came home, and my mother asked, Ruskin what are you going to do with yourself now?”

I replied, “I'm going to be a writer, she said, don't be silly, go and join the army."

Ruskin said that if one is a good writer, and is a good reader, then prizes and awards along the way are nice to have on mantelpiece but they are not going to make a great difference on work.

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