Books and the reading habit

For somebody who used to read a lot of books (and I really mean a lot of books) when I was younger, this Hindustan Times article has egged me on to re-kindle the love for the written word again. (Hat tip: Amit Varma of India Uncut fame).

In the article, Soumya Bhattacharya berates our Indian aversion to reading books as a hobby, a past time or even as a passing fad. He cites simple arithmetic to show how buying books is as costly or as cheap as the other weekend-getaways that we spent upon such as visits to multiplexes, eating out, or even having a quiet drink with friends at a pub. Now don’t get me wrong, I personally do not advocate giving up these things for reading books, but then I do believe that books also deserve some place in our busy lives.

As for me, books opened me up to the wonderful world of fiction, the art of telling tales, the art of bringing alive magical worlds such as Narnia in my mind, when I was a teenager. Later on when I started reading biographies, and accounts of entrepreneurs’ struggles, autobiographies, they managed to give me an insight into what it took to be a reasonably famous personality in the world. Such books made me realize that the world, and everyday situations all over the world, are pretty much the same for all of us. Yes, while the circumstances that we find ourselves in might differ, the basic issues are pretty much the same.

So here’s a yeoman call to all readers of Jairam’s Jives to get back to reading some books. For starters, we could start with cutting down at least one eating-out session to save enough time and money to start off on that first book. What say?



2 thoughts on “Books and the reading habit

  1. I second to Soumya Bhattacharya and like you said I too got into the wonderful world of fiction and magical kingdoms during my engineering life. It was very boring to learn papers like digital communication(which i flunked for 2 sems, before passing), it was during one such boring day which caught my eyes on “ice station”. That was the start, now i try to buy one book per month. My ideology was similar to Soumya’s and in addition no pirated books. But now came the problem, when i got relocated to Hyd i have around 20 books in my collection each having around 450 – 500 page in average. Transportation and storage is my new problem. Here is a question for you?Considering the increasing cost of space we live (ie, ~Rs4000 / sq feet) where do we manage all these books. With all those basic furniture’s and more n more gadgets coming up, i see a opening for entrepreneurs – Living Space Management. ;-)CheersKiron

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