The Reading Project

If you know me, you know I love books.

If you know me well…you know I’m obsessive about them!!

The two premier loves of my Life…Writing & Books 🙂

Everything about books is close to my heart – the feel of a new book – crisp & clean in my hands; the inky fragrance of untouched pages and the familiar mustiness of an old favourite; the promise of an exciting journey ahead; the pleasure of discovering a great new author and the joys of re-reading old favourites!

I treasure the ones I have; hate to lend them out;  want to own ever book I read – a source of constant aggravation to my poor husband; am loath to get rid of even those books that I’m not too fond of; am a fiction person, non-fiction bores me no matter how interesting :P; am a big re-reader of my favourites – they’re my friends, my counselors and in their pages I find what I’m looking for and what I need in the moment – friendship, rage, vengeance, love, respect, comfort, peace and solace 🙂

LOVE Christie’s Hercule Poirot (have her entire collection and know most of them by heart) , and Mr. Darcy (and Colin Firth ;)) unconditionally and forever; am not big on Chick-lit, actually the very term is mildly nauseating, but I do read a few, when recommended by fellow book-crazy friends; am not a big fan of books being turned into movies, except for rare exceptions – LOTR (the extended version), Chocolat, The Namesake, Bridget Jones Diary, The BBC version of Pride & Prejudice and my all time favorite book – To Kill a Mockingbird; ADORE Enid Blyton to this day and always will; don’t necessarily follow trends and an overly hyped book often puts me off, sometimes to my loss, but most times – Not!

When I’m not reading, it shows! I get crabby and short with the people around and am generally not a happy camper! Books always manage to calm me down – perhaps it has to do with escapism. A good book is like a dream journey – a promising beginning to another world; a rollicking ride through the story – its characters, their emotions, actions and reactions , their lives so different from mine and yet strangely familiar; a good end – not necessarily neat and happy! Here though, I must confess, in my younger days, I was quite boring, in that I always wanted a happy ending! I wanted every character to get their heart’s desire and be with the ones they loved and be ‘Happy’. Yeah, yeah I know – C’est impossible! For a long time I actually allowed myself to stop at ‘Happily Ever After’ and not think about later…the morning after (I was young…very young ;-)). As I both read better & read better books, I began to realize how inhibited I was in my reading. I had to learn to let go, let go of my expectations and inhabit the characters that came alive on the pages. Only then, was I able to enjoy the book and its story, get its message, if there was one, and get rid of a sense of disappointment when things didn’t turn out the way I expected or wanted them too! This also allowed me to expand my reading list and pick up books that I never would have before! Book clubs and discussions with fellow enthusiasts with different takes on the same books also helped change the way I read and the kind of books I picked.

One of my life’s missions is to read as many books as I possibly can! I am using 1001 Books to Read before you Die as a basis, while also attempting to re-read the Classics, well at least a few, the easier ones ;-). I have always  shied away from them, except for severely abridged and simplified versions read mostly in childhood and college, ‘coz reading some of the lengthier ones seems daunting and indeed herculean! Think War & Peace, Anna Karenina…, but lately I’ve been thinking, if I must revisit them – I might as well do so now – I’m not getting any younger and Lord knows some of them will take forever 😛  Dickens…yes! Dickens will be a good, relatively easy beginning methinks…A Tale of Two Cities perhaps…quite liked that one…and then move on to the heavyweights, Tolstoy, offence meant…

I will however continue reading my beloved literary fiction to preserve my sanity and hope to record my progress on this blog!

Wish Me Luck!

Here’s to the magical power of Books 🙂

3 Cheers – Hip Hip Hurrah!!

13 thoughts on “The Reading Project

  1. 3 cheers indeed!! I can completely relate to joy n peace escaping into the world of books provides….In fact a whole lot of different people over the years shave told me how too much reading sort of separates me from reality…n is probably not the best way to live life…but again and again I’ve realized that whenever circumstances around me have become trying books have provided the much needed haven…

    love your blog Harsha…keep writing:-)

    1. Swati, Thank you so much for being so prompt and for being so kind 🙂 As my friend Munira would say, all that talk about books distancing us from reality is ‘pish posh’!! Books to me are like mirrors, they offer up a reflective surface and in them you can see whatever it is that you want to see 🙂 Like you, I have always relied on them to get through tough times…Books & Dogs…Man’s best friends 🙂

      I hope you come back and read often! Look forward to your comments 🙂

  2. Books….now that’s a religion I can relate to!
    Lovely post H….as usual, you managed to say exactly how i feel! I love that you’re so clear in your head about what it is that you thrive on, and that you’re using your blog to make it absolutely clear to everyone else too! 😀

    1. You and me both M 🙂 I wish I was as confident about the other stuff as I was about my reading choices 😉 I’ve decided to post my reviews more often now, so check out the Book Reviews category when you feel inclined and share your feelings about the books if you’ve read them…or not!

  3. Wow. I’ve always wanted to read but with a deeper feeling attached. I would love to feel the same way that you do about reading,..some day!

    1. Here’s hoping that comes sooner than later Nida 🙂 As for me, Life without books is really no Life at all!

      Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it 🙂

  4. Ahhh, I love your outlook on books! They are most certainly magical, and I always am saddened when I meet somebody who says they don’t read books, but I try where possible to change this (more so with the teenagers I teach, though they are an even tougher crowd to convince). But it is great and inspiring to come across people such as yourself who really connect with books on that deeper level!
    I also love that you’re using 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – it’s a fantastic book, and I have certainly discovered a few books from that nice little volume! I don’t know if I’ll ever read all 1001 of them, but I probably will eventually – I think I’ve maybe knocked 100 off that list so far?
    Good luck with all your reading and writing endeavours!

    1. It’s always a pleasure to meet a fellow book lover!! I try to get people I know interested in reading too. It’s hard for me to imagine my life without books and yet ironically I’ve been stumped by my soon to be 4-yr-old son, who shows only a passing interest in them, despite the many wonderful books I buy him. Still, I’m not giving up and I love to read childrens’ books as well so I persevere!

      I don’t think I’ll ever get through all 1001 either and probably won’t want to, but I must go back and see how many I’ve knocked off. Also I seem to have developed a block for the traditional Classics…will have to think of a way to jump start reading some soon. Just re-read Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man & the Sea…why can’t all Classics be like this book? Amazingly short and packs an awesome punch!

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