Posted in Bibliomania, Musings

Books and reading etc !!!

Reading and joys of reading have been an important part of my life.

Yet I have not been reading as much over the last two years as I used to earlier, although I do buy books. So I have these books neatly stacked on the shelf, and the beautiful spines looking longingly, waiting to be picked up and read.

So with the onset of the new year, I tried to shrug off the reader’s block, or the general lethargy setting in and set myself a target to read more this year. I am not a setting goal kind of a person, yet this one seemed to be very much needed, a well intended impetus, and it sort of gave me a spark of joy.

So I started with The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It has been sitting on my to-read pile for far too long. I had watched The Boy called Christmas last Christmas Eve and absolutely fell in love with the strorytelling and the characters. It was full of hope and joy. It is based on a book of the same name written by Matt Haig. I required very little persuasion to pick that book out of my ever building to-read pile. The book is set in a library, and is about a girl caught in between space of death and life. The book depicts very well the complexity of dealing with depression, grief and mental health challenges. It was a bit triggering for me having lost someone close due to suicide. But the book is about finding that spark of life with kindness and is hopeful. I am glad I read the book. It has an-easy to read lucid style of writing in spite of dealing with a complex topic. I read the book quite quickly.

The next book I read is called The Authenicity Project by Clare Pooley. It was a fun and a light read. The book is set in London, begins in a coffee shop, and has an interesting set of characters and plot line. I enjoyed reading the book and I finished reading it in two days. I felt a great sense of achievement, and I had not read a book so quickly since I was in university. It gave me a tremendous boost and books and reading give me a great sense of belonging and purpose. It made me feel I am back home.

The next book I picked up was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It is one of the finest books I have read in a long time. It had been sitting on my to-read pile for two years and my friends have been praising about it for a long time. I was a bit sceptical to read given the fact that it has been talked and hyped about too much. Sometimes I have read hyped books and have been disappointed, as I have too much expectation from the book. It is set in the 90s, before the internet and social media, when I believe the world functioned differently. The writing is mesmerising and haunting. The story and words stayed with me long after I finished reading the book.

After this I picked up Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. I wanted to read something light and a funny Romcom. I did hear a lot about this book on social media. It is light and breezy, but its not my style, I did not enjoy it much.

After that book, I have not read much. I have again relapsed in to a lull. It starts bothering me when I am not sticking to my goals, more so if they pertain to reading. When I was younger, I had no targets, no goals to finish a certain number of pages each day etc., yet I managed to read effortlessly . It made me rethink my reading habit. I do understand that as I have aged, my eyesight is not as before, and I do have other commitments which take sometimes precedence, my brain is comprehending and engaging at a different level. I also realised that I was more worried and anxious about not meeting my target number of books than actually reading. Reading should be a joy and the sole purpose of reading is to read, getting engaged in the words, stories and characters, rather than just focusing on a number. And in the target of numbers game, I had somewhere lost the charm and art of reading. The sheer joy of holding a book, stopping on the page that you have just read, relishing the words and staying with it for a while is equally important.

I would like to rediscover my lost joy of reading, and be more engaging with the story and characters. I would like to reread some books which I have already read and get reacquainted with the characters and stories, while rereading I would also like to revisit some of my reading memories and bask in nostalgia.

I recently was reminded of a old book series (The Hardy Boys) I used to read as a teenager, while watching a TV series called Only Murders in the Building. It has brought back some old memories of my childhood days. I have ordered online a couple of Hardy Boys books and am looking forward to read then again. I have also discovered that some of the Famous Five books have been published as graphic novels, in order to introduce them to younger audience. I might give it a try.

I am also currently reading a young adult novel called The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. I am not rushing myself through the book,not counting the number of words and pages I am reading everyday.

I set the target because I was not happy with my reading habit in the recent past. Now that I found my way back in to joys of reading, I no longer care about my target or goal. All I wished for is being lost in pages and find my way back.

“A Book is a dream you hold in your hands” Neil Gaiman.

Posted in Bibliomania, Musings

For the love of Reading !!!

Books, Reading and written words have played a vital part in my life. I have often wondered, if reading and books were not part of my life, I would have been a very different person. Books have shaped me into the person that I am today. Words I believe , are very powerful and especially written words have had a great impact on me.

Continue reading “For the love of Reading !!!”
Posted in Bibliomania

The Little Paris Book Shop

I like reading, is an understatement. I have always found books as very good companions, they are a little island of my own away from the cacophony of the world. When I decided to take a break from work, I started buying more books, thinking I will have a lot more time to read. Not that I do not buy books otherwise. I can say I buy books occasionally and the occasions come very often. I went slightly overboard with the thought of being on a break, I bought War and Peace, which I always wanted to read, and the series on BBC rekindled my desire. I bought two copies of the book, two different version of translations in English, along with other books. One of the copies was a gift for a friend, I often pass on my afflictions to my friends and trouble  them, ‘go on read it ‘. When I was paying for the books, the guy who was taking the payment was greater book enthusiast than me. He was very happy to see me with two versions of translation thought I was going to read both the versions of translation and recommended a few other translations, eventually I did mention that only one of them was for me and the other was a gift. I love these little chitchat at the till with another shopper or with employees at the till, where someone says I have to read this one, oh you should read this…. book, or good choice I love the book, have you seen the film which has been made of this book…

It is  surprising that I have not written about  books or reading on the blog. Neither have I read any book in the last three months. I have often stood in front of the bookshelf and sifting through the books that I have not read and pondering, which one should I read. None of the books would  pique my interest and then berating myself for having the time and not reading, I would try and make an effort by randomly picking up a book. But the book would not be able to hold my interest for more than 5 pages. I would go on to do something else. I would wonder may be it is a case of a reader’s Block.

I was rather feeling blue last week and moping about in the house,going  from Garden, to Kitchen and settling in  living room. I sat there sweeping a glance across the room, to find an activity. I sat with a lap top with the intention of doing a research on gardening in order to tend to my ailing rock alpines, when a tiny little Blue spine caught my attention sandwiched between Expo 58 and Unexpected Lessons in Love. On finishing with my work on laptop I  walked over to the shelf and picked up the book. It ‘s one of the books I bought to read during my break. I often sat in front of the shelf with a intention of finding an interesting read and have  looked past the book. And on that instance I found the synopsis and the blue tinted cover of the book Eiffel Tower very beckoning. I started reading the book and was captivated.  Viola! my reader’s Block ended.

It is a kind of book I would read , curled up on a sofa with a nice cup coffee , read slowly and fall asleep nestling the book or having fallen asleep with the book sprawled all over my face. When I say I fall asleep, it is  not because the book is boring or not my type, but the book is therapeutic, it  lures you in to a charming little world, cures you  out of boredom, with its beautiful writing.  There are parts of story which I cannot relate to or dislike because it is out of character of the protagonist  , but the narration is charming , witty at times and full of memorable quotes. The book  is an ode to books and book lovers. In the genre, I would string it along  with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It introduces the reader to a wonderful protagonist, Monsieur Jean Perdu, who runs a book barge on River Sienne in Paris and calls it a Literary Apothecary.   There are other interesting characters in the book like the very Monsieur Jordan, who has attained  fame at 21 and is not able to handle it.

The books is scattered with wise and catchy  quotes, that’s what is capturing my interest and  making me read the book. I am just quoting a few lines below, from the book. The book did cure me of boredom.

Memories are like wolves. You can’t lock them away and hope they leave you alone.”

” A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novel to the appropriate ailments, that’s how I sell books.”

” You see I sell books like medicine. There are books that are suitable for a million people, others only for a hundred. There are even books written for one person only.”