Speaking of books, I didn't know that this book had been reprinted...André Kertész's On Reading is slight, only six and a half by eight and a half inches with fewer than a hundred pages. Pictures he made over many years of readers reading. A minor masterpiece from the genial and charming Hungarian, who must be among the most humane people ever to have taken up a camera.
Jim Newton mentioned it in the Comments to the "Engage" post. He said: "Reading and photography come together in this beautiful little book by André Kertész. Published on 1971, it is available as a reprint. If you are a reader and a photographer this belongs in your library." I'll second that.
(Thanks to Jim)
Original contents copyright 2017 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Curt Gerston: "I teach middle school photography, and this is a book I use as an example for thematic shooting (an assignment I give). It's not always easy to explain to a 12-year-old, but when I show them On Reading they get it pretty quickly. It's a wonderful little book."
Martin: "I saw the exhibition of these pictures at the Photographers' Gallery in London, but it works just as well as a book; small images you can hold in your hands."
Rodger Kingston: " I got my copy of André Kertész's On Reading in February 1973 while my wife Carolyn and I were on our wedding trip to NYC. We wandered into the Hallmark Gallery on Fifth Avenue in what turned out to be the last hour of the last day of a large André Kertész show. As luck would have it, who should be there but the master himself. I dashed across the street to a Doubleday Bookshop, and bought a copy of On Reading. He signed the book for us, and sometime after we got home, I wrote to him that meeting him at his exhibition was one of the highlights of our wedding trip.
"Almost nine months later, I received the following letter in reply:
2 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
November 17, 1973
Dear Mr. Kingston:
This reply to your appreciative letter has been so long delayed that you may have thought the written word had by now completely succumbed to the visual image. I am indeed touched by the fact that you feel the Hallmark Gallery exhibit will remain memorable over the years as a part of your wedding trip. You see, that way I know my photographs will have as many happy anniversaries as you and your wife Carolyn! With every good wish for your success as poet and photographer, and my warmest regards to both of you.
"A year or two later, Kertész delivered a lecture in Boston. When I approached him during the reception, his eyes lit up; he reached out his hand to me and exclaimed, 'Ah, the bridegroom!'
"In a month we will be married 44 years, and André Kertész was right: his photographs have had many happy anniversaries with Carolyn and me."
Rodolfo Canet adds: "Just let me say in public how touching and delightful I found Mr. Kingston's story. Great way to start my day."