Three years ago, all my reading appetite meant was a few stories in my school English Literature syllabus. I hated Literature of any sort.
But slowly it changed. When I got into college, I found myself vacant with a lot of time. I had not bought a laptop then. That’s when I started reading. I’m not quite sure what made me do that.
It was a good beginning. But I was slow, not in reading. I was slow with finishing the books I started. There would always be something else easier to do then open a book. Like watching a movie or TV series. Or sleeping. I’d postpone reading forever.
Last summer, I tried to change that a little bit. During the vacations, I started writing this blogs and a few pieces for an educational website. I realized that books helped a lot in writing. I’d always have something to share.
I also realized that having a few goals, not necessarily strict ones, helped. I’d know how to space out my reading time to finish a book in time. Sometimes it’d be done early, sometimes late. But the deviation was quite even on both sides.
I also felt that my surroundings often determined my propensity to read. If I had a TV or a laptop or a phone to operate, I’d seldom read. If my book was kept in some shelf where it would be find it, I’d rather check my Facebook notifications. There were pseudo – obstacles to access to reading.
Carrying a book wherever I went – trains, cabs, lectures etc. helped to increase the access to the book I was reading. I started to reading multiple books simultaneously, from different genres. I’d read in short cycles of, say, 30 minutes to finish a chapter I’d start or to read a certain number of pages.
I’d even watch movies or interviews of the author pertaining to the book. Those gave me a different perspective of the writer’s mind, how he/she thought of a plot different than I did. I’d read other pieces penned by them on the web. It felt like a big boost to my understanding of the book and of the author.
I’d talk more about the books I was reading. I even did my seminar on a topic related to a book, The Empire of All Maladies, I was reading at the time. I did another of my assignment on Women’s Movement in India, relating to a book on the topic.
Many books are challenging book they question my biases, my narrative of events but they are the most interesting. Books have helped me think about topics that I’d never have thought of, in ways couldn’t have otherwise.
Last year I read 39 books. This year I plan to take it to 50+. I hope I get there.Edit