A forgotten nook,
Lost in memories, I sit
Smelling my old book
Reading has been a regular activity of mine for years. But of late my reading habits have narrowed to reading with a purpose and not merely indulge in the guilty pleasure. I hope to change that this year. I'm participating in the #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter and I intend to read at least 10 fiction novels if not more to complete this challenge.
The first title Origin by Dan Brown has been on my reading shelf for quite some time. I bought it when I registered for his Masterclass.
Another title suggested by Team Blogchatter is Exhalation by Ted Chiang.
Our steadily growing book collection is the central attraction of my study. However, an inconspicuous nook holds what is dearer to me, a couple of old worn novels. Reading these stories had inspired me during a testing phase.
While in school I had read all the available series by Enid Blyton and later in college I took to thrillers (Robin Cook and Sidney Sheldon mostly) skipping the Mills and Boons. But after college, I didn't find much time for reading.
However, my novels proved to be the lifeboat that sailed me through the stormy seas of my life when I was lonely and struggling to find a direction in my life. I had lost touch with my old friends soon after college when I shifted to Dubai and was only able to reconnect with them years later when Facebook arrived on the scene.
One day, while killing time at the Dubai airport, I passed by a bookshop. It reminded me of the good times when life was beautiful and the most difficult decision was finalizing a dress for an occasion. On an impulse, I entered it. Twenty minutes later, I stepped out carrying my first ever motivational non-fiction title Chicken Soup for the Soul and two others by Robin Cook and Sidney Sheldon. And that’s how I started reading, once again.
I realized reading can do so much more than just entertaining. The right book motivates your soul. It inspires you. The novels that I had bought told how the protagonist comes out as the winner from extremely complicated situations, which by any standard were much worse than mine was.
And, the narratives by real people in Chicken Soup… made me realize there can be more than one perspective to a situation. I realized how significant one’s attitude was to overcome difficulties.
I bought more books to read and I also started thinking about my own situation in a more rational manner. I wanted to get my normal life back. I began meeting family friends, whom I had been avoiding until then. Some were supportive, some talkative. Some offered genuine advice, few even held out hands for me.
A few months later, I found a new job and a direction. Also, I had to learn a lot if I were to excel at my new job. Every now now and then, I would buy a novel to indulge in my guilty pleasure. My reading habits changed due to time constraints but I will always value my paper friends.