|Getting lost in the sea of books! (Photo credit)|
I Love reading. I can't be called a prolific reader - definitely not after I found some people on Twitter who have already finished 200 books this year! Having been a literature student for 5 years, I have had my fill of Shakespeare and Shelley, Dante and Dickens. I have also loved reading my share of awesome fiction like Gone with the wind and Shantaram. Or non-fiction books like Emotional Intelligence by Goleman or the Malcolm Gladwell books. Such books give a unique insight into the working of human mind and I find them quite insightful.
Since I belong to the transitional generation that moved from physical books to ebooks, I have seen both the worlds. I still read books in both medium. All the reading through college days, of course, was from a stack of physical books. It was like a full time job to finish novels and poetry texts so that I could start with the criticism of those books and prepare for exams. I read physical books pretty much through the entire last decade. I moved to Kindle a few years ago yet don't really enjoy the experience of reading ebooks. They are great to keep reading on the go and that's the only reason I have the app. I also have this habit of noting down names of books from bibliographies mentioned in other books. I noted down a dozen titles while doing a course on social psychology from Coursera about 4 years ago - never went on buy and read any of those though.
Reading has always been a big part of my life. Reading is to forget the world. You can't think of anything else while you are reading, right? While online exposure on Twitter helped me learn about new books - some of which I read or added to my list from bibiliographies - it has also added some sense of anxiety to my reading. While I have stopped looking at any must read books lists - except for occasional slips - there are times when some one mentions a title as a must read and I can't help but add it to what has now become a list of books-I-might-read-in-this-lifetime. And the ever growing list evokes this fear of - Oh my God! I'm never going to be able to finish reading ALL this! And the knowledge that some mortals have actually finished 200 books makes me feel like I have read about 4 books in my life! Even when I read a book, I feel a strange sense of anxiety to finish it fast and move on.
While I realise that I will never be able to read 200 books in a year, I definitely am working on this knot that forms in the pit of my stomach every time I start reading. I have started reasoning with that voice in my head which ushers in a sense of urgency every time I sit to read a book. For me, it's not a competition about reading as many books as the next person has. It's more about missing out on so much more there is to read. But then it isn't possible to read all books published ever, (Or is there?!) even if you stick to a few favourite genres. Plus, I think it also depends on the kind of books I read. Fiction gets done faster. But I also want to read thick fat books without worrying about how long it takes.
At the moment, I have enough books to last this year from my Amazon sale loot in August this year. I have already read a fair number of books from different genres this year and I am happy with it. Plus there is online reading where we get to learn so much.
How do you get your reading done? Are books obsolete yet with all the blogs and online content?
This post is a part of #NaBloPoMo hosted by BlogHer where I will write one post everyday this month.