The year had started and I wanted to do something other than talking about sanitisers and masks or find that elusive work-life balance which has become a victim of the work-from-home. I wanted to get back to doing things that I had enjoyed in another life (or so it seems). As I was just reading through some of my favourite blogs, I came across some interesting reading lists; lists that had an amazing line-up. Just looking at those lists got me thinking – why don’t I make a list of my own? I mean what more can a bibliophile ask for, a complete set of selected books to read. Bliss!!
I had set targets on Goodreads for the number of books I wanted to read each year; and the last two years have seen not-worth-mentioning performances. I can blame it on many reasons starting with the home and kids and husband to the (mis)alignment of the stars! But the real reason I guess was, I was not too captivated or attracted to the books I was reading. I was just reading because I had to read. Like I was breathing to exist, not live. It did not incite interest or excitement, nor did it appeal to my sensibilities. So, this idea of making a reading list seemed quite interesting. Instead of focusing on the numbers, I get to focus on the kind of books I wanted to read. And that really got me kicked. It appeared ambitious at the time, and truly enviable too. I read through his list once again to see if I could find something interesting and I did.
The Baby Steps
Now I was excited and wanting to start off. But every project needs a little groundwork, so I did mine. I revisited my personal favourites, from both fiction and non-fiction. I went through my collection of books. Some I hadn’t read in a while, some were testament of my having leafed through them more than once, some brought back memories of those days, in some I discovered some lost treasures like a dried up rose gifted by one of my students and a hastily made bookmark by my then 4-year old! No wonder they say books are a (wo)man’s best friend. I prepared a rough list of books I felt like reading, an arbitrary mix of old favourites, a few new genres or writers, a few new books by known authors. I mean it‘s a little bit of this and little bit of that, but it gradually metamorphosised into something overwhelming. I have my doubts if I will be able to do justice to them all but will never know until I start off. So here I go, hoping that the first resolution of the year meets with some amount of success.
My Plan Forward
What I think is going to work for me is a random selection. I plan to read at least one fiction and one non-fiction every month. Add to it one book by an Indian author (I’m quite partial to them especially Devdutt Pattanaik and Anand Neelkanthan). Don’t want to pack too much in or it would get too much to handle. Three to four books a month should be an achievable target for now (I confess I’m a slow reader, ruminating each word and sentence and situation and relishing it!). If the pace picks up and I’m able to fit in more, then it would be great. But what’s important right now is to start off. Revisiting the classics would be another great way of getting there. Some of my personal favourites are the Count of Monte Cristo, The Tale of Two Cities, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (of course!), To Kill A Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I’ve started the year with a memoir – A Promised Land by Barack Obama. It appears interesting and quite relevant keeping in mind the times. Last year I tried reading a few books from the South East Asian writers and I found them refreshing. Their perspectives and thought processes were quite different from the ones I’ve read. I guess it’s because most of the authors are either American or European. Anyways that’s another category I’m hoping to explore. So yes, I’ve a plan and I hope to stick to it.
Here’s wishing me good luck and happy reading! Join me and lets to do together.