Category Archives: reading habit

Books a Whole New World.

bookwormBooks a whole new world reading for pleasure…

Groucho Marx says  “outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” This saying always fascinated me. The magic of the book is each time we read for enjoyment the empathy awakened within us creates an entire landscape in our mind’s eye.

In her book  Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare has this dialogue ” one must be careful of books,” said Tessa, ”and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us”  how true. Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labour for it.  other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more that our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts. To quote William Styron, “ a great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end. You will live several lives while reading it.”

C.S.Lewis says,” you can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. there are few activities as comforting, relaxing and healthy as getting lost between the pages of a good piece of fiction or non-fiction.  The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind’s eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but its our own creative reserves that empowers us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose. Neil Gaiman sums it up beautifully in his book Coraline, ”fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

In his Book The Fault In Our Stars John Green says, ”sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back  to gather unless and until all living humans read the book.”  There have been books like that. There have been books that I have lost myself in and it lead me on paths of discovery that took me out of my own life and helped me see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. i have learnt so much from the characters and mentors who guide from page to page. My emotion awakened each time I read, allowing me to become vessels of passion that pours forth from line after line of print.

Many times I think, the books we absorb—those that touch us deeply will become a part of who we are, providing us with a rich and thrilling  world within  us, we can revisit this  shambala anytime we wish by simply closing our eyes.

If you are in a room with no books, walk out, you are in a room with no soul, and if you have not read a book for pleasure lately try to allow yourself the time you deserve it.  as for me, I am like Groucho Marx, “I find the television very educating, every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Readin’ th’ book Ah dae.

read meReadin’ th’ book Ah dae.

Reading Material

How would I pick up what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

I know I ought to be saying, the author, the topic, the reviews whatever. Well if it a research reading yes, these are all the factors that count. But I read books, because I love them not because I think I should read them.

As a read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it—or rather it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting.

This could be true for most readers, for a true reader reads every work seriously, in the sense that he reads it whole heartedly , makes himself as receptive as he can. But for that very reason he cannot possibly read every book solemnly or gravely, for he will read it in the spirit the author wrote, and try to eat Kheer like it was roti.

Paxton  says be careful the books you read, as of the company you keep: for your habits and character will be as much influenced by former as the latter! What rubbish!

What reading does, ultimately, is keep alive the dangerous and exhilarating idea that a life is not a sequence of lived moments, but a destiny..the time of reading, the time defined by the author’s language resonating in the self is the world’s time but the soul’s. The energies that otherwise tend ot stream outward through a thousand channels distraction are marshaled by the cadences of the prose; they are brought into focus by the fact that it is an ulterior, and entirely new world that the reader has entered. The free-floating self—the self we diffusively commune with while driving or walking or pottering about – is enlisted in the work of bringing the narrative to live. In the process we are able to shake off the habitual burden of insufficient meaning and flex our deeper natures.

The readers bonds with his or her books, is a bond that grows from childhood, like Mem Fox talks about Reading Magic “The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks, between a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”

Like Dorothy Parker, “I like best to have one book in my hand and stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before small hours.”

For all you first time book readers, who are venturing into the new exciting world of reading, and voyeuring into another’s mind here is a hint — Always read something, that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.


We are so busy shedding, trimming and downsizing.

When we do this with words we tend to be incoherent. One way of dealing with this is to cut out words and use precise and concise ones.

With regards to words we use a range of them—“twelve a clock in the noon”

“End result” and many more.

Quite a few words have lost their potency as they are over used.

We have lost the art of conversation. The best way to retrieve it is to spend time with families, our own and others. We pick up quaint words, precise words, beautiful words and not so beautiful words.

My daughters love spending time with the Kane family, introduced to us by Rick Riordan while I prefer the family at Blanding’s.

The chain is very simple, when we read sentences; we think sentences, when think sentences we write sentences, when we write sentences we speak sentences.

How about a challenge to try this one.

Gedon Gewrite Libban

Before they read words, children are reading pictures.”

― David Wiesner, David Wisner

What book, fiction or nonfiction, would I love to see illustrated?

Simple answer ALL.

An illustration is a rendition, (that could be presented as a drawing painting, photograph) That is created to dictate sensual information, maybe a story poem or a newspaper article.

Illustrated fiction, takes the reader into the world of the character virtually, the storyteller, the story and the listener all become part of each other. On the other hand, it robs the reader off creating his own pictures. But every story gets translated to a visual before we really internalize the story.

Illustrated non-fiction makes learning easy. I would have been foxed but for illustrated anatomy and physiology text.

As Marilyn Vos savant puts it,be able to draw an illustration as least well enough to get your point across to another person.

Powered by Plinky

read a book day

September 6th is read a book day.
For a bookworm like me it the ideal holiday. Rains outside, a warm cup of coffee, banana chips and books. Books could be PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie.
I remember Brigadier Cariappa from the bamboli army camp tell us when he learnt how to read how an amazing new world was discovered by him. Or like the poet Tennyson one travels the world through the eyes of the author. They are documents of a lifestyle, thought and philosophy of a generation.
My earliest memory of the romance with the books is my mother showing me some pictures. The first book I read was Enid Blytons “Famous five go on an adventure ” anyway it was a famous five with my older cousin initiating me to a world of whodunits.
Of course I had my share of Mills and Boons, Barbara Cartlands and Denise Robins. I even read a couple of Danielle Steel’s. Before discovering Zane Greys and the Sudden series.
When my kids came along I had subscribed to tinkle for my older daughter. The brat that she is, she would get me to narrate the story in Kannada, then my husband had to narrate it in Marathi. In our absence she would place all her dolls and narrate the stories to them. When my younger daughter was born the dolls were replaced by her. When she was 10yrs told my older daughter read and explained the autobiography of a Yogi to her younger sister who was 5yrs.
My younger daughter was more into autobiographies. Abdul Kalam and Vikram Sarabhai being her favourites. Now of course it is Harry Potter and the Twilight Series.
When my dad was in the terminal stage of his disease, mornings he would read the newspaper. Then my younger daughter would read him her favourite books and they were all the green dragons for 10 year olds. In the evening my three year old niece would read/share her picture books. He would look forward to these interactions with his grandchildren.

kids book rack

Books by Enid Blyton ruled our childhood; with what Katy did series Heidi or Little women series
While Enid Blyton glossed over the school values and growing up with sports and adventures. Self discovery it was kind of sexless. Make up was not acceptable, being Lady like was not shall we say cool?
The little woman series or the Katy did series were also about growing up, but in an American environment, the limitations of a lower middle class family, working to achieve ones ambition, and contributing to the family were all there.
When I looked at what my eight year old niece reads, it’s about makeup, dating, partying being cheer leaders I realize that the generations have change so have the people who create the value of the generation.
Children are no more left to agonized over a hockey match, they agonizing about fitting into peers, about having boyfriends and using lipsticks at the age of 12!

wired book

Would I use an e-reader?

But what is an e reader? Thank god with Google one does not really have to accept ignorance.

Google says that:

  • an e-book is a device to read digital books and periodicals,
  • Hardware used to read an e-book something like a laptop, netbook or desktop!?!

Advantages would be, I can carry a lot books with little space my own mobile library. Books don’t go out of print,(books printed before 1900 are available on public domain.) translation is a click away, environment friendly no trees felled, purchase or burrow is instant—cost effective I don’t know.

But what about the changing formats then reading them would be a challenge, where is the aesthetic appeal and smell of a new book. Reading is such a nuisance that one tends to skip.

Picture books not feasible.

I guess curling up with a hot cup of coffee tea, potato chips, and a book and to leisurely follow the writers vision would win hands down.