In a photo project, writer Jerry Pinto and photographer Chirodeep Chaudhuri explore the personal histories of the books in a Mumbai public library
Out of an immensely poetic body of work, the great Hungarian photographer André Kertész’s book On Reading is particularly charming. It has a photograph from 1926 in which Kertész sets his lens on a patch of roofs in the romantic Latin quarter of Paris. He nudges readers to finally notice a man reading a newspaper after letting their eyes wander across the frame—one that expresses an obvious love for geometry inspired by the De Stijl movement of that time. The book, first published in 1971, wasn’t a significant departure from Kertész’s way of seeing, but, rather, a delicate study of one of the simplest joys of life—of reading. From libraries to streets and into people’s bedrooms, Kertész illustrated the love of books through readers and the spaces they read in.