Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words Part III


Herat, Afghanistan


For hundreds of years artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.  We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact that reading has on our lives.


Chiang Mai, Thailand



Kham, Tibet



Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma


“Reading is a means of thinking with another person’s mind; it forces you to stretch your own.”  – Charles Scribner


Old Delhi, India


Everywhere I go in the world, I see young and old, rich and poor, reading books. Whether readers are engaged in the sacred or the secular, they are, for a time, transported to  another world.


Varanasi, India



Kham, Tibet


The world’s largest book fair will be held in Frankfurt starting on October 6. Publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers,  authors, and journalists from all over the world will attend.  It is a privilege that my series of reading pictures will be projected during the opening press conference and featured in the daily publication, Publishing Perspectives.


Saõ Paolo, Brazil


Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia


Susan Sontag said, ”The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality…” The same can be said for reading books.


Bamiyan, Afghanistan



Yangon, Burma



Tokyo, Japan



Shanghai, China

“We read to know we’re not alone.”   – C.S. Lewis




27 Responses to “Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words Part III”

  1. Dipesh K Mistry Says:

    Every image tell a story, that time, work, mood and very simplify story.
    i am very Lucky guy because see this world with your eyes.

  2. Roz Goddard Says:

    Hello Steve, these are tremendous images. I am the co-ordinator of the West Midlands Readers Network, would it be possible for me to share some of these photographs of people reading on the new website when it is set up? Obviously credited to you and your website. Best wishes
    Roz Goddard

  3. Great blog and I look forward to reading more…

    […]Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words Part III « Steve McCurry's Blog[…]…

  4. KimiNoGomi Says:

    Dear Steve — I love your site and these images! I came across them while preparing a presentation on reading for the Books and Publishing conference in Toronto. Would you please give me permission to use one of your photos as a slide and to cite your blog? I would of course give you credit and would ask again if any print or online publication were to ensue. Thanks, KimiNoGomi

  5. Hello Steve,

    I have a question for you.

    Inspired this, I am now collecting images of people reading newspapers specifically.. I began this 3 weeks ago during my travels in kerala,India and I haven’t come across ladies reading newspapers. Maybe because my time frame is so short and my travels aren’t as extensive. Not to appear sexist, but have you come across any in your travels?

    Georgie Mathew

  6. […] The Synergy of Images and Words […]

  7. We have a Read Around the World bulletin board in our library. We are an international school, located in Singapore. Our students and teachers travel the world on their holidays, and have sent back amazing photos from all over – the Beijing Olympics, Halong Bay, Viet Nam, the Freedom Trail in Boston, from Glaciers in New Zealand to hotel rooms overlooking the Eiffel Tower, from horseback in Bhutan to the Sydney Opera house.
    Would it be okay if I printed your blog and posted it next to our own world map and Read Around the World photos? I think it would really inspire the students and teachers as they travel to capture these moments and share them with the school community.
    Thank you!

  8. Excellent photos !

  9. this is definitely one of the most strongest themes in human relations.
    Very well captured!

  10. Steve, you do fantastic and great job for futur generations. It’s absolutely spectacular. One of my professions is photojournalism. Wish I could take photographs like you do. Thank you!

  11. […] Before I begin today’s discussion (since it concerns another book), a quick plug for Steve McCurry, whose photography I deeply admire and whose recent photo-essays on the subject of reading, are especially inspirational and worth checking out. I quote: Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words Part III « Steve McCurry’s Blog […]

  12. You said, “Everywhere I go in the world, I see young and old, rich and poor, reading books. Whether readers are engaged in the sacred or the secular, they are, for a time, transported to another world.” Beautifully put. I am grateful there are writers that make this ‘mode of transportation’ possible. And I am grateful to those photographers, such as yourself, who not only transport me to a world I would otherwise never see, but in so doing, raise my awareness on so many levels. A big mahalo to you!

  13. hermosa y sensible entrada nos muestras Steve! la lectura nos hermana, de alguna manera, nos reconocemos…ojalá nos ayude a aceptar “lo diferente”. Gracias!

  14. andrewgould Says:

    A great theme, and wonderful shots.
    All the best…

  15. Beautiful, Steve. Thanks for sharing your photographs through your blog.
    I just captured an aged man sitting on Chowpatty beach engrossed in his newspaper. I was scared to take a close up (I always feel that it invades someone’s privacy and laws in India are not defined on the same). But I did manage to capture the essence of this beautiful act of reading.

  16. Bellas imágenes!!! Para destacar la importancia de la lectura con el libro en la mano. Gracias!!!

  17. Your work is simply fantastic.

  18. Reading is so universal. We should never underestimate the power of teaching our kids to read! Beautiful collection of images. So expressive!!!

  19. Jane Dennison Says:

    Breathtaking, I have never seen any thing quite like these wonderful images. I have just signed up for a photography diploma and wanted to find a photographer who inspires me…..Job done!

  20. Daveen Wilson Says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful – thank-you, and God bless you, and please don’t stop taking photos!

  21. Dear Steve,
    Interestingly, when the world feels jut too damn fast and caustic, I open up your blog and find the right medicine every time.

    I am in the process of developing a book with the purpose of segueing (sp?)
    our culture away from the current ideas about disability toward one of inclusivity, beauty and hope.

    I’ve been bordering on depression as everyone in the publishing world seem to think books as they stand are dead.

    Clearly, you see differently and so do I .

    Thanks for that.

  22. Babu Babel Says:

    The proverb “A good picture is worth a thousand word” is an understatement for your pictures. They are worth a lot more words. They have poetry, social and environmental comments. Truely amazing. I look forward to your updates with eagerness. Look forward to meet you some day in India or UK.

  23. Unbelievably beautiful photos and thought-provoking quotes! Always an pleasure to see Steve’s work. Thanks for sharing

  24. Hi Steve,

    I always felt while reading your blog that I am part of it, traveling with you and looking, observing and living with people around world.

    Its real, natural and so colorful…

    Thanks for sharing


  25. Today I mention you on my blog again. I´m sorry becouse I have no an English version, (and my english ¡s so poor). The point is that another lady, Anne Fatosme , wrote a tale about an inmigrant in NYC after seeing my pictures (http://annefatosme.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/diario-de-un-emigrante/), then a friend of mine send me a picture from Agra to use in my site “From four window” an sudenly Anne wrote another tale(http://annefatosme.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/una-transaccion-perfecta/#comment-2210) about a girl asking for money in a semaphore with one of your pictures like inspiration. A pure sinergy betwen images and words.
    Must be net karma.

  26. The children in our primary school were invited to bring in photos of themselves ‘extreme’ reading over the summer, I will be showing them your blog, what truely beautiful pictures, and wise words.

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