Fri, Mar 06, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Tipsarevic warns of dangers of reading


Reading a lot can be dangerous, and being too smart can lead a person to unhappiness: that is why Serb tennis player-cum-intellectual Janko Tipsarevic hit the brakes.

“I realized that I was reading too much, starting to doubt myself, life, my profession and tennis. I stopped a bit,” Tipsarevic said in an interview ahead of this weekend’s Davis Cup tie against Spain.

“That was a time in my life in which I was really crazy over reading books. I still read many, but not quite that many,” he says.

“But I don’t want to make a big fuss of this or say that I am so deep, or a philosopher. That is a part of my life, something I like doing, like others like Play Station,” Tipsarevic says.

He got into reading Nietzsche, Kant and other philosophers by following the example of his mother.

“She started to read these books, which end up driving you a little mad ... Yes, she suffered a bit,” he says.

“Anyone who reads philosophy knows the word means ‘the search for truth.’ Many of those philosophers had painful and unpleasant lives because they searched for truth. And the truth, in most books, is nothing, it’s depressing,” Tipsarevic says.

“You start to wonder why you are doing this, why you pay US$1,000 for a plane ticket. Am I happy? All those questions,” he says.

Tipsarevic is now sure that “thinking too much is not the answer.”

“Of course I would not rather be stupid. But they say being stupid is a sort of blessing, because you don’t know anything else, you don’t want anything else and you don’t need anything else,” he says.

“I was taking books too seriously,” Tipsarevic explains. “Now I am a little bit older than I was then, and I understand that you should never, ever, no matter how right the author is, read a book and completely change your life.”

“In my opinion, you should always take small things from a book to change life, and not let the book have a 100 percent influence on your life,” he says.

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