Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thoughts on my Reading Habits and this Blog

If there is one activity which I have really tried to be good at, its reading. Building diversity in what I read, building my reading speed and comprehensibility, envying someone who has read a book which I wanted to read before me(a good trait I must emphasize), scribbling smileys, caricatures and thoughts in the books, sometimes laying my hands (upon experimenting) at stuff(books) which I accidentally bought (I consider myself a book-spendthrift, often buying books which remain stacked for years before being read). 
                  I must mention that my reading journey effectively started with a Ruskin Bond's book, Collection of Short Stories for Children, (gifted by my elder brother). Bond's ability to focus on living creatures, nature and his writings on mountains (a backdrop in sync with my hometown and growing up days) always made me feel that he wrote for me and I built a special relation with his books. I still read them, once in a while and it helps me revisit my old school days and the places mentioned in his books, which I had imagined through words, during those days. Even till this day I would prefer a Ruskin Bond's work over a Rowling or Dahl or Tolkien or Blyton or Dickens.
                    Having grown up in a small town, I never really saw the culture of public libraries and instead started believing in the idea of buying books (which continues till date), considering it vital to own a book which one has read. My buying patterns would've been different had I been a member of Narmad Library, Delhi Public Library and American Embassy Library(which I am now) in younger days. This belief is nevertheless good but then it has an other side too. Books are heavy and require a calm, stable surrounding and pest control. Book maintenance is a big thing and you never know what and when life may throw at you. More on this, sometime later.
Reading books should not be under or
over-rated. Its a mind -exercise which
should better be done regularly. :|

Thoughts on E Books:
(no Text Books here) 
Den Xiaoping (modern China's architect and a national hero) remarked, "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white till it catches mice". I think it doesn't matter if all you care about is finishing a book and then waiting to judge whether its good or bad, un-put-down-able or a waste. But I usually like to revisit a book and read a few selected portions (usually underlined ones) or for reference. This particularly happens in Non Fiction ones. E-Books aren't great for a retrospectively habituated reader. Having a tablet/ipad is a plus but on Laptops/Computers, E-Books are simply too lame to lay hands on (lay hands on?). It wont be wrong to call them dull, uninspiring and having no odour. Though I must say that, the E-Books culture (especially with the onset of hand held devices) is an evolving phenomenon and a complete disbelief towards them is one sort of prediction. I don't believe in predictions based on my personal prejudices unless backed by a superior logic. A serious handicap in reading ebooks is managing and allocating time. In hard books we can put a book mark and go to sleep or a walk, keeping in mind how much we have read and how much time it'll take to finish off the rest of the portion. This exercise on ebooks, they being a new platform will take some years to perfect, till then meeting our reading targets will always have some lags and leads.    

Here, at Shelf and the Bean Bag, I will attempt to share my personal reviews and key takeaways from the books I am able to read or are on my reading-list. I hope this would add a few titles to your reading list and provide meaningful insights on the discussed areas. The genre would usually consist of India, Indian Fiction,European/American Fiction, New Age Indian Fiction, Business, Strategy, Public Policy, Foreign Policy, Management, Economics, Science, Philosophy, History, Autobiographies, and also some titles which readers usually don't know or care much about as and when I'll arrive at them. 


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