Kolkata: Celebrated author Ruskin Bond Friday said children find their own ways to discover books and that he was not "too worried" about curbs on freedom of expression.
"I think children discover their books and they do so at different ages. You can't really keep things from children.
"So sometimes being told that certain books or literature is not good has the opposite effect and is an incentive to go and discover it," Bond said at the inaugural session of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet at the Victoria Memorial Hall grounds here.
Children and young adults queued up to catch a glimpse of the cherubic Mussoorie-based author who answered all their questions that centred on some of his cult books like "Room on The Roof", "Night Train At Deoli" and the Rusty series among others.
Quizzed on free speech vis-a-vis children's right to express themselves, the 80-year-old Padma Bhusan recipient said reading makes one capable of judging good literature from "shoddy" ones and therefore, he was not too worried.
"Good writing transcends and you get bad writing... I think the more we read, more capable we are of judging what's good literature and what's shoddy. I am not too worried, therefore, about curbs on freedom of expression because we find our freedom one way or the other," he said.
The author said the habit of reading was not absent but readers always have been a minority, even during his own school days.
"Today, reading is still a minority pastime but that minority in terms of numbers has grown and grown because of education and the larger number of people who can read," he added.