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On Our Bookshelf: The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Hi! I’m Arlena and I am Public Relations Manager at Ann Taylor.  Each week associates will be letting you know what they have been reading in our Bookshelf series. Last week Amy our Senior Editorial Director reviewed The Selby’s new book. What’s on my shelf? A lot recently since I have been putting off my summer reading list due to endless hours spent planning events at Ann Taylor and practicing yoga on the Lower East Side.

Last weekend, I walked into Barnes & Noble and decided to pick up yet another book to add to my dusty collection. I went for The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a book that a dear friend recommended to me a few years back, thinking it would for sure sit sadly just waiting to be read like the others on my many shelves in my already too crowded New York apartment.

Not thinking I would find or be able to make the time to read it just yet, I set my eyes on the first page and am now (two days later) on pg. 228. Just 86 more to go! Although I’m not sure I want to finish it just yet. It definitely made the commute on the packed F train somewhat bearable this morning.

The book which is a story about a Czech couple, how they relate to each other, their respective lovers and a few others during the years of the Russian invasion in Prague, was written in 1982 (coincidentally the year I was born). And although it takes place towards the end of the 1960s, the book still feels relevant and timely. Kundera, a true intellectual, has succeeded in making me question my daily actions, those of others and how significant or insignificant our existence really is.

I don’t mean to sound dark, but these questions these things seems to be something people in their late twenties often ruminate on as we think about what has weight in our life.

On that note, I’ll retreat to reading a little more of my book and hopefully drawing a new and dynamic conclusion on my thoughts about life, my existence, our actions and their lightness or weight.