Reading…

…to me is a drug, a narcotic that helps me escape and float into another world…

I became addicted to this drug when I was around 8 or 9 and was home for the summer from my boarding school in Dehra Dun…Whilst rifling through my sister’s belongings, I found a book about a boarding school called First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton…The experiences of Darrell, Felicity, Gwen and Sally enthralled me; I wished my school were like theirs…Why were they allowed tuck from home whilst we weren’t?Β Soon First Term at Malory Towers gave way to Second Form at Malory Towers which led me to the door steps of another school – St. Clare’s…Thus my reading journey had begun…Looking back, if the book hadn’t been about a boarding school, I would have probably tossed it aside and my reading journey would have been delayed…Since then, these bound leaves of written paper have been my constant companions – like true friends, they have always been there for me, helped me relax, entertained me, counselled me, and even taught me…

I’m not a book snob; I read anything and everything…From fiction to non-fiction, mysteries to love stories, crime to drama – anything will do, even trash…If I’m reading a mystery, I want to play detective and figure out the ending…If the book in my hand is a high paced thriller, I can’t help but feel the excitement…Good romantic books make me feel good…The only thing I’m not too fond of is excessive characterization although I admire the way talented authors manage to weave the dynamics between each character into the plot…

These days my mission in life is to get my daughter to learn how to read so that she can enjoy the drug I’m addicted to…I try to explain to her that reading books is a better hobby than watching TV because the stories come alive in the reader’s head the way he or she wants them to…Unfortunately, all my talk whizes past her 5 year old brain…I’m not discouraged though as age is on her side…

So here is my question: What does reading mean to you?

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34 thoughts on “Reading…

  1. It’s an addiction for me too and like you I read every scrap of print I can. I am not snobbish about what I read, and frankly feel a little put-off when people look down on “trash.” I think every kind of reading has its place, depending on mood. It’s like music of the soul. And even music, one enjoys dance disco at times, classical at times, and pop at times and rock other times.

    Me: My favourite place for reading trash is the bathroom…Good time pass…I too am put off by people who look down on ‘trash’ – I’m quite certain they are the ones who can’t stop reading this genre of books…

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  2. Reading for me is an addiction too! And like Nita rightly pointed out… reading is not just about intellectual enlightenment, it is also a means of entertainment… to sit back and relax.. and every book worth its while has something good to offer..

    Not surprising then that I wud read an Archie comic with as much zest as I would read an Ayn Rand or a Premchand!

    Me: I loved Archie too! In fact, my sister and I were members of the Archie Comics club which meant we received one digest every single month…What bliss!

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  3. Reading for me was an addiction too. And it too probably began with Enid Blyton, before moving on to Sherlock Holmes, James Hadley Chase, Earl Stanley Gardner etc. and then into the big world of many dimensions. But TV and the net have done me in , I must confess.

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  4. Reading is certainly addictive. I enjoy reading, but I am really having to steal time these days to read. My all time favorites are: Crime, mystery and romance. For me, reading and watching movies are to relax the mind and to help get a different perspective on the topic, so I never really get into documentaries, history, period drama or movies etc. May be I will someday. But not for now. I have been meaning to read a good biography though. Any suggestions??? I was secretly hoping to read SRK’s!!! ( I know most people will not even consider it good reading, but I am a huge fan!!!) πŸ˜€

    Me: You should ask IHM about SRK’s book – she’s more up to date on his doings than I am…

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  5. I used to read a lot of books.. but off late lost the patience but I do read a lot on the net !! I guess I m more of a comic person at heart and short stories kinda appeal me more.. ! having said that some gripping novels once I get started with them I cannot wait to finish !! I love Ludlum books a lot and I love the way he builds up characters !!

    Tom Swayer by Mark Twain till date is my favourite character and I have never read a book like that !!!

    incidentally my love affair with books also started with Enid Blyton’s adventures of a wishing chair !!!

    For now reading for me means sports section in news, and blogs and maybe sometimes a magazine if I am travelling. I want to read a few books but just not getting around thanks to the internet… one book I m waiting to read is freedom at midnight ! sigh…

    Me: Wishing Chair – yes, I’ve read those as well as The Faraway Tree books…They were absolutely magical!

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  6. My 5 year old son watches TV too.. but somehow he has fallen in a habit of reading atleast 2-3 pages of a book in the bedroom before sleeping… my wife reads a lot… and I mean A LOT !!

    however my son is a late sleeper and as strange as it sounds… me and my wife both want him to sleep and forget the storybook but no matter what he will not sleep before he reads his 2-3 pages… and brushes his teeth !!!

    he has lazy parents … who tell him never mind the teeth brushing but he wont listen…

    life is strange I tell ya.. !!

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    • when he reads meaning we both have to look into it… he cannot read all words and so we have to help him out… !! πŸ™‚

      I know its a very good habit… but when we want him to read he wants to play and when we want him to sleep he wants to read… sigh !!!! πŸ˜†

      Me: I know what you mean…My daughter is a TV addict but I do read to her and make her read every day…She’s improving, slowly but surely…

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  7. I must add , my post is very essay like . 😦

    Me: I read your post…Nicely written…When people see ‘Mein Kempf’ on my bookshelf, they look at me weirdly…I think it’s an important book and everyone should read it because it gives us an insight into the mind of a maniacal dictator…It lacks cohesiveness but is still an important read…

    How long did it take you to read ‘Crime and Punishment’?

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    • Thanks . Yup . Mein Kampf should be read . To know why . Crime and Punishment took me a while . 2 to 3 weeks , if I am not mistaken . Next target is the Borthers Karmazov .

      Me: 2-3 weeks…That’s good…It took me a few months…I read other books in between…

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      • Kislay,
        Read Brothers Karamazov when I was around 16 and found it great. But I should confess I skipped a few pages. Tried again to read it recently but failed. But can read Crime and Punishment again and again. Tried and failed to complete reading War and Peace but have read Anna Karenina several times.

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  8. Oh Bones! A post after my own heart! Reading is a drug for me too! I cannot get enough of it and I feel insecure until I have books around me πŸ™‚ My parents and husband keep pulling my leg that my handbags always weigh a ton because I lug around books so that I am never without reading material πŸ™‚ And yes, I am no book snob either – I can read anything and everything – right from chick lits to historicals to takeaway menus if I have nothing else to read πŸ™‚

    My daughter loves books – she has a huge collection already and loves going to the library just as much as I do. She has not started reading yet – but she does ‘read’ to her toys πŸ™‚ I do hope that her fascination with books remain.

    Me: The most depressing thing about Singapore is that books and CDs are really expensive…I go to the local library but owning books is something else…

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  9. What a coincidence! I’m re-reading the whole St. Clare’s, Malory Towers, Famous 5s, n Secret 7s now, in order of their publishing dates. I love to be surrounded by books always, never outside without a book in my bag. It’s very addititive. And I say, just wrote a post on my school library at PNA.

    Cheers to this drug!

    Me: Last week, a friend of ours gave my daughter the entire Secret Seven series…I re-read them after eons…What fun all of them seem to have…

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  10. Reading is definitely the narcotic of choice in our home. My husband is a voracious reader and I am so thrilled that our kids, especially our older son, have taken after him. Kabir is reading constantly, anything that comes his way. But we’ve taught him to check with us about the suitability of content when he picks up a new book and he’s been pretty good about that so far. Our younger son is also becoming a serious reader. He has graduated from his Franklins and Blyton short stories to considering picking up an adventure tale. We’re lucky we’ve never had to tell our kids to read. They’ve taken to books instinctively.

    I too read every chance I get. It doesn’t have to be high-brow. But I do love revisiting the classics every now and then. I remember reading an abridged version of Pride and Prejudice when I was 10. To this day it remains my favourite classic. Every time I feel I need cheering up I instinctively reach for a Wodehouse (just this afternoon I started reading ‘Something Fresh’ for the umteenth time) or a Tom Holt. Or Bushnell-style chic lit. Or an Asterix. We finally bought the entire series at the annual Crossword sale last year. The whole family enjoys those books immensely.

    I actually carried a Wodehouse to the pre-delivery room when I was in labour with our first baby! The nurses couldn’t get over it. And having the book there really helped me get through many of those difficult hours.

    Me: So now I know why Kabir has glasses! The first classic I read was ‘Jane Eyre’ (abridged version needless to say)…It was fantastic although a bit depressing as was ‘Wuthering Heights’…

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    • Yes, Wuthering Heights can really get you down. It’s so dark and dreary. The landscape mirrors the mood of the story right through – grey, depressing, overcast. Which is why I didn’t attempt reading it till just a couple of years ago.

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  11. Pingback: The love of books, the joy of reading.. « Any Excuse to Write…

  12. I’m always a bit confused when people ask me (sometimes in interviews) – “How much do you read?”

    And I don’t know how to respond, because for me, reading is like breathing! No one asks me how much I breathe. I just do. It’s not an addiction, it’s a necessity for me.

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  13. I am a late comer to the world of books bones… Hardly 6 months old… But these days I am reading atleast 10 pages a day… Else the day doesn’t becomes a satisfactory one πŸ™‚

    Me: Good for you, Kanagu…It shows…Your writing skills have improved tremendously…Keep it up…

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  14. I think most bloggers love to read and write πŸ™‚

    My reading continuously changed when my kids were young. I have reread Enid Blyton, Little Women, Anne of Green Gable, Polyanna, Heidi, Diary of Anne Frank, Night etc. They introduced me to Harry Potter and some fantasy fiction.

    When my kids were young, short story collections were favoured to avoid having to leave a book half way πŸ™‚ So we went through phases of James Herriot, O’ Henry, Roald Dahl, PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock.

    Ayn Rand and Roots, To Kill a Mockingbird and many others I re-read only to discuss with them and later they wanted to read them for themselves.

    I still often read what my daughter wants to discuss, like Chocolat and Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

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  15. reading means a lot to me!!!!!!!!! I could spend hrs reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love reading my fav books over and over again.
    for me personally, the book “three men in a boat” will be my ever favorite!!!! followed by another author called “leslie charteris” who has written about the character called “the Saint (Simon templer)

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  16. Reading is very important to me, always has been…….I can read pretty much anything, depending on my mood.

    I am sure your daughter will get into the habit too….it was easier for us though – there was practically no TV when I got into the habit of reading.

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian

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  17. Hey Book Worm !!!!

    Its me, another book worm, knocking to say ‘hello’ !!!! πŸ™‚

    Reading and becoming part of another world, is just the right thing to do !!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    While my eldest daughter has become a small sized big bookworm, my younger one is still to understand the joy of becoming a bookworm… πŸ™‚

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  18. I think those with English education in school all started with Enid Blton and went on Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Billy Bunter….before graduatin to Perry Mason, Chase, Sherlock Holmes and the likes.

    When I read some Indian authors like R K Narayan – The Guide, Malgudi Days and others, Mulk Raj Anand – Untouchable, Manohar Malgaonkar – Bend in the Ganges…..it was a different experience. One could relate to it so much.

    One regret has been not being able to read up Hindi and Marathi literature. I hope this too can be set right soon.

    P G Wodehouse, however, is an alltime favourite. Psmith and Jeeves were like best friends for a long long time.

    Me: I love R.K.Narayans’s books especially Malgudi days…Wodehouse was a fav. at one point of time…

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  19. Your admiration of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers books is understanable. Enid Blyton fans and readers will be glad to know that I have just published a book on Enid Blyton titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).

    Stephen Isabirye

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  20. I used to read a lot in school and college.Now to get time to read between work and TV and internet has become difficult,still I manage a little time. First readings were in Malayalam and later started English reading with Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series.Must have read the most between 13 and 20 years including many classics. I am a fast reader and may skip some paragraphs or even some pages. Now I read mostly while travelling.
    My daughter has graduated from Enid Blyton to Nancy Drew.

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