No book is really a fixed object. Every reader reads a book differently, and each book works in a different way on each reader. ~ John Connolly in “The Museum of Literary Souls.”
I was lucky to be surrounded by books growing up and one of my earliest memories revolves around books—my elder brother reading out from his school text books as he did his homework or studied for an exam, while I sat next to him. The very first book that I remember reading was Amar Chitra Katha’s “The Pandava Princes” or rather my mother read it while I thought I read it. :-D
Books have been my friends, advisors, stress busters and friends in unfamiliar places. Whenever we shifted cities or houses, it was the book cartons that were unpacked first. After a stressful day at work, it is a book that helps me unwind. And books are my travel companions whether it is commuting to work or a long journey by train.
I can read anywhere—standing in a crowded train, in a rattly, wheezy bus, in the midst of a wedding… anywhere, except in a library. For some reason, I cannot read or study in a library as I find the sight of so many books at one place distracting !
Bookshops are my idea of heaven on earth, especially bookshops where the proprietor will come out of the counter and recommend a book or two and offer insights into the making of the latest best seller. I love bookshops that can cater to the whims and fancies of the individual buyer, rather than offer a one size fits all experience. I love bookshops where the salesperson does not have to look up the computer to check the availability of a particular book or ask me how the book or the author’s name is spelt.
Yes, I love books in all its shapes and sizes, though not necessarily all genres. I stay away from self-help books, totally dig fiction, crime and suspense, insightful essays, history, humour, travel writing, comics, mythology, culture… For me, a good book has to be one that is well-written, narrates a great story, is logical (for me at least), and preferably error-free. And most of all, it needs to have something I can take away from it in terms of knowledge or insights.
I have an ambitious aim to write about all the books that I have read and this list is just a beginning. Wish me luck :-)
- The Best of Quest: A review by Laeeq Futehally, Achal Prabhala and Arshia Sattar
- Celebrating India: A book review
- Colour: A natural history of the palette by Victoria Finlay
Authors, their books and life
- Balasaraswati: Her art and life by Douglas M. Knight Jr.
Books on Books
- 84 Charing Cross Road: A second-hand love affair by Helene Hanff
- Twitter + Literature = Twitterature? by Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin
- The Museum of Literary Souls by John Connolly
- A weekend with a purpose
- The Sunday Book Club
- Serendipity and a second-hand book
- Knowledge Whiteboard Library
- An afternoon, graphic novels and Goodreads
- Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management by Devdutt Pattanaik
- Heidi: My friend, philosopher and guide by Johanna Spyri
- The Swiss Family Robinson: A favourite no more by Johann Wyss
- Silent Cinema in India: A Pictorial Journey by B.D. Garga
Mythology and Mythological Fiction
- 7 Secrets of Vishnu by Devdutt Pattanaik
- The forest of stories: A review by Ashok Banker
- The immortals of Meluha: A review by Amish
- The secret of the Nagas: A review by Amish
- I, Rama or Ayyo, Rama by Ravi Venu
- Govinda: Book 1 of The Aryavarta Chronicles by Krishna Udayasankar
- Haiku: Poetry ancient and modern edited by Jackie Hardy
- Puranic tales for cynical people and humour for all by Parashuram
- Ladies compartment, 8.47 local: Book release function and review by Suma Narayan
- Sirens spell danger edited by Suresh Chandrasekaran
- The Emerald Route: One book, many narratives R.K. Narayan