(칼럼) 가을에 읽으면 좋은 책

2016-04-14 17:19
“가을에 읽으면 좋은 책”

멜번의 가을은 동화 같습니다. 하늘과 들판과 나무들이 마치 동화 속 배경처럼 수려하게 펼쳐집니다. 이 아름다운 계절에 무엇을 하면 좋을까요? 독서입니다. 책을 펴서 읽을 때만큼은 동화 속 주인공이 부럽지 않습니다.

어떤 책이 좋을까요? 19세기 미국의 사상가인 랄프 에머슨(Ralph Waldo Emerson)은 좋은 책을 고를 수 있는 세 가지 원칙을 알려주었습니다. “첫째, 출판된 지 1년이 안 된 책은 읽지 않는다.” 최소한의 검증을 거친 책을 선택하라는 말입니다. 유행을 타 반짝 많이 팔리는 책이 있지만 그런 책은 오래 가지 않습니다. “둘째, 유명한 책을 읽는다.” 많이 알려졌거나 꾸준히 팔리는 책은 분명 읽을 만한 가치가 있습니다. 톨스토이의 ‘부활’ 같은 고전은 시공을 초월하여 교훈을 줍니다. “셋째, 내가 좋아하는 책을 읽는다.” 아무리 검증되고 유명한 책이라 해도 읽을수록 흥미를 잃게 된다면 나에게 좋은 책은 아닙니다. ‘스님의 주례사’가 아무리 좋은 책이라고 해도 목사가 읽는다면 얼마나 따분하겠습니까? 자기가 좋아하는 책을 선택해야 합니다.

세 가지 원칙에 딱 맞는 책 한 권을 소개합니다. 성경입니다. 성경은 확실하게 검증되었고, 역사상 가장 많이 팔린 책이며, 읽을 때마다 감동을 주는 책입니다. 가장 좋은 책입니다. 오랜만에 만난 친구와 이야기 나누며 밤이 깊어가는 것처럼, 이 가을도 좋은 책들과 함께 깊어가면 좋겠습니다.

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