A Bookworm in the Making
I began to read in my teens. Most of us might have had similar experiences. Every infant stepping freshly into the Readers Paradise faces a primary problem. Where to start with? Naturally I turned to my friends, like everyone do, who were already reading. They wore their intelligent hats, the reader’s aura brightening their back head, started to suggest.
Most of their recommendations were their personal favourites suiting their tastes. No sooner I learnt, it’s not always possible to share similar wavelengths in reading choices, however close the other person to one. After few unsuccessful attempts with the friendly suggestions I began to look for other ways. Nonetheless suggestions from friends were not totally unfruitful. They opened the window essential for a new comer. It was like an offline map service stored in my phone, capacious to show whatever it has yet not possibly whatever I ask for.
The next stop for every one of us might naturally be the list of books compiled under various genres, tastes etc. There were lists of Man Booker winners, Orange Prize winners, New York Bestsellers, Classics and a legion of endless lists of stuffs and suggestions like 100 books you should read before you die. There were other lists of authors pouring in- Chetan Bhagat, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Paulo Coelho, Robin Sharma a lot more, in fact.
By the time I began to come across this ‘winners’ inn and having stayed there for a while I learnt not every prize winner is my cup of tea. Moreover I began to explore and evolve an understanding about the publication politics and the buzz that is generated around a book, is more of a marketing gimmick. I got trapped in few pits like these but soon managed to ebb out.
With some years of experience in rendezvous with reading I had finally got a selection process myself. Of course it’s nothing out-of-the-box thinking. I began to read the plot summaries of the books in case of fictional works and began to read blurbs at the back pages for non-fictions. I read them to learn about the content of the books. Decide for myself after reading a paragraph or two at random to see if I can get along with the writing style of the author.
I never get a book into my shelf just for the reason it sports a catchy cover design. Here one could literally take the fact- Do not judge a book by its cover. I shy away mostly from sensational and seasonal bestsellers- the Dan Brown like stuff- as one might’ve known much of it even before reading page one. Anonymity is the heart of reading thrillers.
If I could share some views, certainly not another list pal, these are those. Remember these are applicable for starters only.
Never take some book and try to engage with it after you find it’s not for you, just for the sake of valuing the suggestions from someone close to you or perhaps some literary giant whom you adore.
Try to make decisions personally as far as possible. You might consider all the lists and opinions from elsewhere. Yet, May the final decision may be yours.
Bother not to stop a book at any point, if it fails to capture your attention. May be the book isn’t for you.
Choose light reading to start with. Give a try to things you come across as someone’s easy read might be hard to you and otherwise. You might surprisingly find something that bears a hard read tag might turnout interesting and easy to you.
Reading choices are purely subjective. Rejections or acceptance- let it come from you only after a try.
Read good book reviews or articles in Wiki about the work. This might help you generate a basic idea of the work. But beware! Not every review speaks truth. Book reviews have always been a hook to attract more readers. And the publishers are very good at exploiting this.
Whenever you hear of a good book, try to browse for it in public or lending libraries. Or search for excerpts online. This helps you to decide how better you could catch on with the author’s style and language. It’s safe on your wallet as well. What good is to have a never-to-be-read book on your shelf?
Share your views too pals. It might help everyone.