Spreading the word

The chairwoman of Toshiba Thailand always finds time to read. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul dedicates her busy schedule to business and social work, but reading is also something she does without fail.

"I simply love reading. I love a story taking place in my head. Some books excite me. I'm curious [as to] what will happen next," she said

Kobkarn admitted that she now reads less than in the past because it can be difficult with all of life's distractions. "But I try to read more and always have books to read. Books [have] taught me many things about life."

Also a director of Books for Children Foundation, Kobkarn wrote Buntuek Dee Dee Haeng Chewit (Good Memoirs For Life). Launched in 2009, the book also features autobiographical elements, work philosophy as well as administrative techniques that help people to work well for a multi-national company.

_ Sukhumaporn Laiyok

What are you reading?

Royal Siamese Maps by Santanee Phasuk and Philip Stott, with a forward by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. I cannot remember who gave me this book. I've learned about many important events about our country that I think I cannot find anywhere else _ particularly about war and trade. It's an amazing reference book.

In fact, I collect maps, particularly antique maps. I love history. Antique maps are wonderful because they show different regions and how people perceived their world in the past. They are great learning tools.

And another book that I'm reading is about Yamada Nagamasa, a Japanese adventurer who influenced the Ayutthaya kingdom and became Nakhon Si Thammarat's governor. He died there. My colleagues and I arranged a trip for customers and we went to the province. Villagers confirmed that Yamada is real _ it's not just a story.

What is the book you've always wanted to read but haven't?

The Art Of War by Sun Tzu. My brother told me it's a must-read book for me as I'm in an administrative position. He told me that the book features lessons that can be applied to almost any area of our life where conflict occurs. On top of that, it teaches us different techniques to deal with conflict.

Is there a book you've never managed to finish?

Sam Kok (Romance Of The Three Kingdoms) Well, I'm a slow reader and easily distracted. There are so many characters in the story. And new characters kept coming along the way. It took time for me to remember them all. I tried to stay focused, but my mind wandered to something else. I had to read the same chapter many times.

Did you ever buy a book because everybody was talking about it, but when you read it you didn't like it at all?

Harry Potter [series]. I prefer The Lord Of The Rings to Harry Potter. I like Tolkien's style of writing. Also when it comes to movies, in my opinion, The Lord Of The Rings beats Harry Potter because it's more complex.

Roughly, at home how many books have you bought that you haven't started reading?

About 200-300 books. I like buying books for my children. We like going to bookstores. My daughter said I buy books for her because I want to read them myself.

Do you have books you've bought because you judged it by its cover?

Design and art books. I studied architecture. I like buying design and art books even though I have to admit I've never read many of them. They come up with high-quality beautiful pictures.

Which book has impressed you the most?

Khamphiphaksa (The Judgement) written by SEA Write Award winner Chart Korbjitti. I've read it over and over. The book taught me many things about life. It also reminds me not to judge what other people do. Judging is cruel, so I don't do it to anyone. The book also taught me to think about my own actions and how well I treat people around me.