I dont consider myself an avid reader or even a casual one for that matter, because I have no specific taste. I read just about anything at the most random times. But ever since I left school about 11 years back, I hadn’t picked up a single book until I finished my graduation. I had just finished my GREs and I had loads of time especially since I was not going to go abroad that year because of my backlogs at college. I spent the first quarter of that year wailing in agony for failing twice in one year at the university exams. The second quarter coming to terms with the fact that, it had happened and there was nothing I could do about it other than study again, of course, grudgingly. This was the same time, when someone whose company I dont enjoy so much, came to my rescue to push me into taking things up and to keep trying. I did a lot of things I hadn’t done in quite some time. Like, traveling for fun, going to restaurants with family, and yes, reading. I think I picked up the habit of reading random material during my stay there. By random I don’t mean, stupid unintelligent or rubbish. I mean, there was no pattern. I started reading Thrillers, Dramas, Adventure, Classics… practically anything I could lay my hands on, for free :). During my stay there, I read probably 10 books in three months. More than I had read in 8 years. I felt that I had made a great accomplishment.
Starting third quarter, I had to prepare for traveling to the US. And the next two years went on the same way. I did not lay my hands on even a single book. Although I had all the time in the world at my disposal. It was a period when something strange was happening. I was beginning to question myself. I would not say this brought much change in my reading habits.
I moved to Orlando at the end of those two years. Here I think I was planning on building a library. because I bought so many books, I found it hard to decide which one to start with. These were all spiritual literature. I held on to them for three years before I had to let go of them. In those three years I stayed in Orlando, I stayed with some amazing room mates. They had read some of the most fascinating books, classics and deep philosophy. During my discussions with them, I realized how little I knew about the world around me. How much there was to actually experience and enjoy in books, than mere sense of accomplishment of reading them. It took me two years, two phd advisors and a move to economics and back to learn to read books again. The last year of my stay in the US, I went to the university library almost every month okay, every three months (perhaps six) 🙂 … anyway, the point was that I started looking for books; classics that people read when they are kids. I started finding interest in mystery, adventure and fantasy books. Perhaps, they allowed me to go into that surreal world where things could still be solved compared to my life then, which was, I would a maze of unsolved puzzles.
Since then, I always have three books in pipeline to read. I think it is one things that has allowed me to open up and embrace my inner self because reading for me requires peace… which brings joy of exploring the inner realms of the heart while reading.