Sunday, October 6, 2013

This is how I read 3 years ago

A lot of things in my life start with "Jaldi kya hai?" .Right from my dinners to going out to meet people, to dressing up to meet them to just about everything starts with the question Jaldi kya hai? "Write this for me" "Jaldi kya hai?". "Shaadi karlo?"  "Jaldi kya hai". I've felt the presence of this thought almost universally in my interactions  and I actually believe that "Koi jaldi nahi hai".

See, this logic failed me a few days ago when I was reading a book. I had to hurriedly finish this book, I had to write something immediately, I had put myself in this time bound cage if you will. I must finish 50 pages in one day, I must write something in my book, I must talk to my friend at least once a week! I must do this, I must do that and I was exhausted!

Today, I took a break and realised I have to go back in time and reclaim that Maggie. Seriously. The old Maggie didn't care about how many books she's read, she doesn't care if she finished one book in one sitting or whether it took her a good 6 months to finish it. It didn't matter. That's the point about reading a book, it was to read a book. Spend time with it. Take it to bed. Take it to the dinner table and let it sit there. She would have no guilt that she's bought books she hasn't read, because to Maggie, it didn't matter.

So I reflected and this time a little more realistically, when I read the books that I did in the last few years, I remember the drive to read them it wasn't because everybody was reading them. In fact the books I read weren't even popular with the people I was with. Right now, it feels like a challenge; To finish this book, to read that magazine, oddly i love it. But what's the point? Jaldi kya hai? So I'm missing out on a few million books as it is, add a few hundred to it. How does it matter? What if I've not read Game of Thrones or What will happen if I couldn't finish Scarlett letter? What happened?! Nothing.

Between the me 2 years ago and the me in 2013 something has changed. I would spend hours and days discussing what my next read should be like. Now, I find myself looking for my next read. I don't like this version of myself. I want that old Maggie who sat with her copy of Pu. La Deshpande and figured how to read a marathi book. I want that Maggie who sat with her cup of coffee on a rainy day and quit the book if she didn't like it; No questions. Nothing.

See, between reading as a natural state and reading because it was what i had centered my identity around; I lost perspective. I forgot that while I was perfectly happy bunking classes and reading, i was also happy if I didn't read for an entire day. I spent months where I didn't go through a book and it wasn't something I had an issue with. I think I read more deeply then, now I read because I got a little crazy and obsessed. While that's perfectly good. I think I did a few things wrong.

The list is endless, but just for starters
  1. I started reading two books. I don't know why I picked up that nasty habit and I enjoyed doing it, but what have I established? I got involved in two books and I felt like I wasn't doing justice to either, thankfully I quit that. I've become quite monogamous.  (Yes, I'm married to my books) One book at a time. This way, I also realised I will quit fewer books. I will pick one, commit to reading it. And the fact that i got a beautiful book like The Book Thief helps my cause. (Thanks Richa! <3 li="">
  2. I picked too many books and too quickly; This isn't about buying books, this is about the pace I went through on a lot of them, Ideally, I would spend a few hours or days without a new book, but in the last few years, I started reading everything and anything and all too quickly. I liked my 2 times to the library schedule. I visited my local library twice a month and picked books up, I then finished reading them in a few days and went back to return them. Not going to my library has been one big mistake. (Sorry, Neo)
  3. I have no genre, and I still don't. I've not read enough sci fi, or fantasy, or war, or history, or really popular books and this was never an issue. But today, I find myself feeling really bad about it.  I wonder where that comes from. I often find myself wishing I had committed to genre. But this is the new me. For the old me, it wouldn't matter. 
  4. I haven't re-read anything :Woah! Yes. I don't believe I haven't re-read anything, which is very unlike me. In the last few years, I haven't re read anything. I mean, Harry Potter is one but that's not re reading as much as it is re-re-re-re reading.
I mean when I think about reading and the joy it brought me as a child and given that I am in the middle of a book about a child who reads, I realised I was similar to that kid, I read what I read only because I liked it and it didn't come with a schedule, a timeline, it didn't come with complex writing down of things I like. There was no note taking. It was simpler back then.


  1. we take full responsibility for such a change in your thought process, evolution is finally happening and you should not resist it :D

    oh no no even I haven't read much sci fi and fantasy. please dont feel bad.

    Overall, its a brilliant article and shows the depths of your thought process and the level you can scrutinize yourself and bring things deeply rooted in one's psyche to light. good stuff!

    1. No, it isn't you guys. I owe the introspection to my friends, but this has been going on for a few years. :)


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