Reading………Books….I still remember the first books that my dad who himself is a voracious reader got for me and my brother and how I lapped it up so quickly that my father realized that this is just the beginning. Moved on to the usual Famous Five genre of books, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer and now the books that I enjoy reading are random ones from various authors. The age old method of reading the gist of the story at the back of the book while choosing a book works best and I very rarely get disappointed.
Reading while in school – In those times I never used go to buy books so the I ones I read were those my father used to get for me which used to primarily include Russian Authors and then I graduated to reading books that my father had collected over the years –(Victoria Holt and James Hadley Chase). Also there were the books that I could borrow and people used to gift on birthdays – Famous Five and Nancy DrewJ.
Reading while in college – Along with the books from my dad’s personal collection(Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer) I discovered something new; I could buy second hand books from some shops(that’s when I started my collection). Then of course there was the library at college where I had to choose books once a week without even touching them just by looking at the title from outside the glass window. So that introduced me to a new way of choosing books – books by random authors. This was a very new way of reading for me as I got bombarded with all kinds of writings and along with one of my core subjects being Literature I was transported to a different world in those days.
Reading after starting to work – Now that I could afford buying books with my own money that was like the best experience. The pure pleasure of being at a book store reading 100’s of covers to choose the best ones. Aptly that’s when Bangalore saw the rise of huge book stores like Crossword , Landmark etc. In my college days the only book stores that I had heard of were Gangaram’s , Sapna’s and Higgin Bothams but now there was the entire ocean available in Bangalore. The books that I now started reading were random. This was the time I stopped reading 2 books of the same author as I started finding it repetitive. For example like most others I was intrigued by Da vinci Code but when I picked another of his ‘Angels and Demons’ just could not read more than 1 Chapter so many things were similar. Some of the best books that I have read in the recent ones are ‘Kite Runner’ ‘Five Point Someone’(though chetan bhagat’s later books look disappointingly like bollywood flicks only)’Shantaram’. The one am currently on is Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ (so far so good).
One thing that I would like to tell about reading is that few years back I had thought that the reading habit is somehow lost for the current generation. But I was pleasantly taken aback when I see one of my nephews who read books with the same rigor as me. The advantage of the current generation is the affordability and the variety that they have at their age. (Though I still don’t understand the fixation that they have for books on fantasy only; out of my league).
However let me end by telling that reading has always been an exploration of a different world where picturizing the characters, landscape etc is a thrilling experience and no movie can give me that kind of a thrill till date.