Striking Photos of Readers Around the World

A new book brings together Steve McCurry’s photos of readers, spanning 30 countries. From a steelworks in Serbia to a classroom in Kashmir, they reveal the power of the printed word.

“Readers are seldom lonely or bored, because reading is a refuge and an enlightenment,” writes Paul Theroux in the foreword to the new Phaidon book Steve McCurry: On Reading. “This wisdom is sometimes visible. It seems to me that there is always something luminous in the face of a person in the act of reading.”’

That luminosity appears throughout the book, whether in the bowed head of a woman at a museum in Italy or the intent expression of a street vendor in Kabul. Over the past 40 years, the Magnum photographer has amassed a collection of images showing people engrossed in the printed word.

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