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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I read... I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Simran of ChipsnChutzpah and SimzCorner to write about Why I Read... :)

Should be one of the easiest things to write about, as I read a LOT.. but she's put across so many good points already that it's difficult to really come up with something different!! So I'm taking a slightly different route - it set me thinking of how my reading habit started.. and of course how it persisted .. so here goes!

My earliest memories of reading - Dad and I walking in Connaught Place in Delhi, and me pestering him to buy me a Tinkle or Amar Chitra Katha - that's really the first book I can remember reading so I've always had a soft corner for them. Though mom and dad did not have a vast reading habit - except for the tamil publications that of course used to be subscribed to religiously, they were really instrumental in building it up in me. Whether it was these early memories of Delhi, or of them not minding me spending my pocket money (Rs. 10 was a princely amount in those days) on library books when I was older (and they never looked over my shoulder to see what I read!), they definitely nudged me along this path. So the first reason I read is because of them!

My next memory is of my teenage years. I was always accused of reading novels more than my school books, and was lucky enough to pass by decently enough in school to not get into major trouble about that! Someone or the other was always telling me not to read in poor light or not to read in this position/that position - "Or your eyes will go bad"!! Well my persisting to do just the above, literally all through my school years, is proof positive that that is not the case (and genetics too was on my side!). So my next reason was probably to show all those people "I will read what and how I want to!". Which of course does not stop me telling my daughter "not to lie down and read!", and laugh to myself while doing so :).

As my working/earning life began, I had this thirst to own books and build up a collection.. I usually read only fiction and you'll find most available books by Agatha Christie and Isaac Asimov (my favourite authors of all time) in my house. When we built our house, we made sure we had space for books, and I was all set to fill it up. Even I didn't realize how many books I could end up with! So this was my "I am so thrilled I can own and re-read them as much as I want" stage :).

Soon I came to a stage where I literally do not have space for more books, and luckily enough this led to my Kindle (My Kindle Review). The multitude of books available for free, and most new books also coming out with a Kindle edition - the most space saving bookstore possible!! For the record, I do not miss the "look & feel" of holding a book at all.. maybe the smell of fresh paper occasionally, but that's about it :). It's tailor-made for me - no trouble with holding open bulky books with one hand while I eat with the other (I read a lot at the dining table!), no searching around for bookmarks or trying to remember the page where I left (I hate folding paper - who doesn't?), and the e-ink is nearly the same as looking at the page of a book!! My newest reason - just the wealth of books available to me through the Kindle has made me even more of a voracious reader !

Let me also add the actual reasons as to why I fell in love with reading. It gives me a special space - me and my book - it used to be that noone could come between us - people could have roaring arguments around me and I wouldn't know. Now of course that's no longer true - a certain loud call of "Amma!" has crept in there though I try to set boundaries. And it creates a special world away from my own mundane one - probably why I read only fiction :). And my latest genre of Fantasy (think Harry Potter, but in so many variations it would make your head spin!) is giving me some authors to supplant my lifetime favourite ones :).

Wow Simran, I did not realize that was going to such a long one. Thanks for the tag - it was quite an exploration for me :). I would like to tag:
Forever Mother
Spicy Sweet
Not sure if all of you read, but I'm sure I've seen the odd mention of books/book reviews on most of your blogs :).


  1. Thanks a lot for Tagging Aparna.. :) Humbled.
    I thinking of the content of the post. Will post soon.
    Thanks again!

  2. hey enjoyed reading this...can identify with the tinkle ACK times and also the desire to have a book library at home..
    i've been caught up with a book lately and didnt get down to do this post...
    well..i'll do it soon..before i see all my points on others' posts..;-)

  3. This is a lovely post. Thank you for setting me off on my own trip down my memory lanes. Thanks for tagging me. I will definitely take this up :)

  4. Very beautifully written Aparna!! I especially loved these lines - "I am so thrilled I can own and re-read them as much as I want" stage :)" I can totally relate to this and felt the same. And Lol on "I tell my daughter not to lie down and read" this brought back memories of when my mom used to tell me that. Thanks for taking it up and passing it on.

  5. Thanks for tagging! Could identify with a lot of what you said, bookworm that I am too. Don't u feel u have grown out of agatha christie now, or do u still love them as much as u used to? I believe her autobiography is pretty good if u can lay hands on it.
    Ok, thanks again and I will start thinking abt what to read abt why I read :)

  6. very well-expressed ! reader moms are a class apart !

  7. @Spicy Sweet/Sahana - Thanks and Looking forward to your post!
    @Uma - Loved yours too :). And yes, that was my reason for doing it quickly too!!
    @Life_Refactored - Thank you, and awaiting your take on this!
    @Simran - thanks so much for this tag, was a nice draw from pre-kids memories which I don't do much nowadays :).
    @Aparna - Agatha Christie, yes I did grow out of it after a while, but it happened to me only after I read each book so many times, that the title made me recall the complete story so there was no point picking the book up ;). Hope to see your post soon and learn more about the kind of books you love!
    @Pooja - Thank you :). Please do take up the tag if you would like to!

  8. shreeranjani srinivasan9:36 AM

    Appu, you rock! go girl!!!!

  9. Thanks for dropping in Shreeru :)