of reading books

In my entire life, I have never read anything close to what I have managed to read in the last couple of months alone. I have started reading voraciously from the last year.

How my love with reading books started? Well, I do not know exactly. I have always wanted to read from the college days. Till I finished my graduation, for various reasons, I have never read anything more than five books that were not part of academic reading.

May be, we never know what we love unless we try. Once I started reading, I started loving it more and more as I read more and more varieties of books.

To start with, I started reading non-fiction and few biographies and then went on to read few self-help kind of books(Robin Sharma, The Alchemist). Then, I slowly started reading fiction. Before reading fiction, I always thought, it is just waste of time reading novels. It is only after reading few good novels, did  I realize that reading fiction is one of the best things to do if we have enough free time.

From general fiction, my interest drifted towards classics and literary-fiction. Started with reading Hemingway’s all-time great classic and which helped him get the Nobel for Literature: The Old Man and the Sea. Now, I read more of classics than anything else.

Reading is really good unless the following happens to you.

When you read too many books, chances are there, you will end up wanting to write one. Trust me, I have read many and I want to write one now.

No wonder, now, I am reading books on ‘writing.’ And few books on the craft of writing fiction.

After reading few books about fiction writing, I started looking at the novels from a completely different perspective. I will never read the novels in the same way I used to read before.

Few of my friends ask me:  why the hell you read books? The simple answer is: I do not know. The specific answer would be:

I meet interesting people, visit interesting places, and of course, all of it at the comfort of sitting in a chair and with a book in hand.

How can we know what a World War II soldier had gone through unless we read a book written by someone who had been there? How do we know how was it to be in the initial years after that great partition of India unless we read a book by an author who lived through it? Well, you might ask me, why should I care such things? If you don’t care, I say, you better never read books. Go, listen to music, learn guitar, play tennis, or better doze off the afternoon.

Nothing wrong in not reading books either. It is a highly personal choice. But beware, once you catch the bug of reading, it takes over you and it is only for good.

Many times, we hear people saying, so and so book changed my life. That is the power of written words. We hear these words not only from common people, often from celebrities even.

I do not know who said ‘a picture speaks more than a thousand words‘, but I am sure, ‘a few well written words definitely speak more than a thousand pictures.’

Following are few quotations on books from famous persons.

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
- Henry David Thoreau

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
- Mark Twain

When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.
- W. Somerset Maugham

The books that help you the most are those which make you think the most.
- Theodore Parker

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2 Comments

  1. Supriya
    Posted August 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    what a contrast. I was an avid reader until graduation ,later with increasing responsibilties its being tough to find time for the books .

    Offff ,i really wish i can pull out more time/sometime for books atleast from now.

  2. Posted August 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ra,

    In the article, below two lines are awesome.
    “I meet interesting people, visit interesting places, and of course, all of it at the comfort of sitting in a chair and with a book in hand.”

    All the best!!!

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