I didn’t want to end the year with an unfinished book so I sat through New Year’s Eve reading ‘Sophie’s World’. I picked up this book by Jostein Gaarder long back after a lecture by my favourite English professor on the history of philosophy.

Reading Sophie’s World isn’t easy. It’s demanding. I took more than a month to get through it only to realise that I need to read it a dozen more times in order to grasp something.

Sophie’s World, though classified as fiction is a theoretical and practical course in philosophy as well. Each chapter more or less covers one philosopher and his philosophy. So sometimes it becomes impossible to read more than one chapter at a time because you need to process the ideas presented in it.

Is it a course on philosophy or a thriller or a fantasy or mystery? Well, it’s all of that and more.¬†Considered a modern classic, Sophie’s World is like nothing you’ve read before. Yes, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to read till the end but I can assure you that it’s worth it. All I can tell you is what the philosophy teacher told Sophie,

The German poet Goethe once said that ‘he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.’ I don’t want you to end up in such a sad state. I will do what I can to quaint you with your historical roots. It is the only way to become a human being. It is the only way to become more than a naked ape. It is the only way to avoid floating in the vacuum.

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