Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why do we read?

I used to read as a child. It was mostly short stories, comics, articles published in Diwali magazines, GK books, stories from mythology etc.
But there is a huge difference between reading above things and reading a novel start to end. Fortunately I realized this before it was too late. I was about 19 when I decided that I need to enter into global arena. I chose to read English novels rather than reading their translations in Marathi which is my mother tongue. Sure, there is huge collection of quality literature in Marathi. However, I did not want to read books for just fun. I wanted to observe and feel lives of people across the globe. Also, there was ulterior motive of improving my linguistic skills in other languages. English being professional language in India and most parts of world, it was an obvious choice.

As one of the Quorians has already stated here, first book becomes special. Mine was 'Nothing lasts forever' of Sidney Sheldon. It was my first full length English novel reading experience. Coming from a school where English was not the first language of teaching instructions, it was really challenging for me. I had very limited vocabulary and I started to jot down every new word I would come across while reading the novel. In first 30 pages I got 150 new words which I had never seen before. It was a painful process but I was determined to complete the novel. After some 50 pages I got hold on the story and it became bit easy for me to deal with the 'quitting in between' instinct. I stopped noting down every new word after 100 pages mainly because the story engulfed me and although I didn't know some words, I could intuitively make out the meaning due to the flow of the story. By the time I finished the novel, I was no more worried about vocabulary and kept on pondering on the story in days to come. 

In last few years, I have not read great deal of books, but I can say that I read and I like to read. Starting off with an English book rather than Marathi proved good for me because once I broke the barrier raised by my own mind, I could enjoy Marathi books as well. I read many more books in Marathi than earlier times after this successful attempt.

So, here are some points which I have observed over these years about reading.

1. If you really want to finish a book, diligently stick to first 30 pages. If you can cross first 30 pages, there are high chances that you will finish the book. Worked for me for more than 80% cases.

2. Choose something which has useful content as well as Masala in it. By Masala I mean anything which you find interesting.. whatever floats your boat. In most of the cases it's romance and sex. It's like Game of Thrones.. they have kept the boring part interesting by adding vivid sexual content. The story itself is a piece of art, there is no doubt, but to keep the viewer engaged.. I think you've got my point. As your reading gets refined, you may not need such aids.

3. Remember, there is nothing in world which is better than repository of good reads to strike conversation with an intelligent woman. With money you can get bimbos, but reading goes unparalleled when it comes to have conversations with fine women. May this point inspire you.

Early start is important, 28 is rather late to inculcate any habit not just reading. But, if you are asking this question that means that you have what it takes to get anything in world at any time… "A Burning Desire".


Wrote as an answer to the question-
Is it possible to develop a reading habit at the age of 28? If yes, then how can I enjoy reading books? On Quora.

* Thanks to the internet for the picture.