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Books and I

Books and I
Sayyed Ali Khamenei relates memories from his youth and his love for reading


My father owned a big library and I used to benefit from many of the books [therein], [though] ofcourse, I had my own books. I also used to go frequently to the library of the revered shrine of [Imam Rida] in Mashhad, for it was a very fine library. I used to go there during the first stage of my Islamic studies –when [I was] 15 or 16. Sometimes I used to go during the day and become absorbed in reading. The athan (call to prayer) was broadcast via a loudspeaker, but because I was very engrossed in reading I would not hear the sound of the athan!

In [my] youth, I used to read a lot. I addition to the textbooks which I used to read and study, I also used to read books about history, literature, and poetry in addition to storybooks and novels. I loved novels very much, and I read many famous novels in that period. I also read poetry. In my young age and youth, I was knowledgeable in many poetical works. I loved books about history, and due [to the fact] that I was studying Arabic and became well acquainted with it, I loved the honorable narrations. Today, I remember narrations which I had read and noted down in my young age. I use to keep a little notebook in which I recorded narrations. The narrations which I explored yesterday or this week only remain in my memory if I record them, but I completely remember [the narrations] which I read during those days and during [my] youth. You should realize the value of young age and youth. What you read today remains [with] you and will never be erased from your minds.

This period of youth is a very good stage for reading and education. It is truly a golden stage which can't be compared to any other phase.

I see that some of our youth don't assign for themselves time for [extra] reading. In truth, a youth can study his lessons, read, and also practice sports.

No person should cut off his connection to acquiring knowledge due to his preoccupation with preaching or work in any domain or place. We shouldn't say: "We have work and we can't". During the early [stages] of the revolution, I myself stopped reading for around two years due to the preoccupations which surrounded us. Would that matter have finished?! There was absolutely no time. I used to return home at 11 p.m. or later and start work at 5 or 6 a.m. Some periods passed in which I would not see my children despite being with them in the same house! When I used to return at night I would find them asleep, and in the morning as well I would go out before thay awoke. Long days passed without seeing my children. This is how my life was. Suddenly, a warning went off, and I have returned to reading from three or four years (1984). My return to reading was after becoming president. Now I read and continue my work as well and I find no conflict between the two.

357 View | 08-03-2016 | 11:48


 
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