McCurry emphasizes that the act of reading spans all boundaries. “We’re all different and we’re all the same. It amuses me that whether you’re fabulously rich and sophisticated or you happen to be someone on the street in the third world or a classroom in some remote area, reading is all the same act. It’s a common link in our shared humanity, a thing we all do that is regardless of where we are economically or socially.”
McCurry’s images were originally inspired by legendary Hungarian photographer André Kertész, who also published a body of work on people reading. “This collection,” he explains, “is my homage to Kertész’s talent, his influence, and his genius.” McCurry’s photographs span through nearly four decades of his travels. This particular series is now a published book, and the images are paired perfectly with a foreword by award-winning writer Paul Theroux, who also pays his own tribute to the overwhelming power of the written word.