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?