Posted in Inspiration, Introspection, Learnings, Little Moments, Me, Reading, Uncategorized, Us

On reading

We were resting in the tent indulging in the leisure that a beach trip rewards you with. I looked up from my book and declared to nobody in particular, “Poor Mr. Darcy. All because he was an introvert!” My unintentional and sudden outburst elicited uncontrollable giggles from my offsprings. After the amusement settled down, the first born quizzed, “Who is Mr. Darcy”, the second born questioned, “What does an introvert mean?”  Their questions were lost on me, as I had long delved back into the world of  Lizzy, Darcy, Jane and Bingley, oblivious to my curious boys. They gave up and ran back to the waves. 

It felt so good to be lost in this world that Jane Austen had built that it was a sweet burden to pull the mind back to where the body was. What fine writing!

The reading experience was reassuring because I was beginning to wonder if my love for reading was just a figment of my imagination; something that I made up in my mind. Perhaps I liked the idea of reading more than reading itself?  I felt like an imposter when I borrowed books from the library. Finally,  I feel liberated from those self-doubts! For sure, I can say, I too love reading!

A couple of weeks back during our road trip, the conversation meandered to reading styles and habits. I told the family how I tend to take a long time to warm up to characters and story plot. That I read the first few pages very very slowly, and at some point, there is a flip of the switch and the pace picks up. Hari, who likes to read books in one sitting, said he has a different style. “I love reading the first portion of any book. It is so exciting to get introduced to all the characters and see the story unfold. It is in the middle that I slow down.” Da, who is a very fast reader, commented that for him it is the last part of any story that slows him down. And not wanting to be left out, the voracious reader of the family, our Ram, piped in, “I don’t slow down at all. I like reading the first, the second and the last part”  Atta boy! I thought to myself. Not necessarily for what he said on his reading style but that he made his opinion matter. A lot of times, may be because he is small relative to the rest of us, we overlook him on subjects that involve deeper discussion but he always stands tall,  makes his voice heard, and weighs in with his thoughts. Never ceases to surprise me. Anyway, I digress.

This discussion was a revelation to me. It made me cognizant of my reading style and helped me figure out why I have been reading less. The first few chapters requires that I stick to the book, so it can grip me.  Without understanding that piece, I have been expecting to instantly immerse myself in the story and have ended up feeling utterly disappointed.  I am not sure I got my reading mojo back but it is good to know that there is some mojo left.

What is your reading style? Do you ever suffer from a reading block? What are you reading? What is next on your list?

10 thoughts on “On reading

  1. I am exactly like you. Down to Jane Austen! Yes, I go through readers block too. And now I am on an Agatha Christie binge.

    1. That’s reassuring coming from a well read person like you! I am not sure what to do read next – George Orwell’s 1984 or Midnight’s Children. I am having second thoughts about the former given that it will be a painful reminder of our current political environment.

      On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 10:29 AM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


      1. I’d go for Orwell because for some reason Rushdie’s plots irritate me. However, if you go by language elegance, tough call.

      2. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness just landed on my lap.

        On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 1:34 AM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


  2. Maha, am like you. These days if the book does not grip me in the first chapter, I give up and move on. To make me persist, the language has to be lyrical in some sense. Having said that I tend to binge on thrillers, rom coms and literary in phases.

    1. So fascinating to learn what appeals to whom! I don’t seem to like thrillers – whether movies or books. I don’t like being in suspense although I don’t mind shows!

      On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


  3. Hmm..made me ponder about my reading habits 🙂

    I consciously drastically reduced reading books after kids came along as reading was a huge distraction for me and I could not dedicate the time to finish a book.

    I am selective with what I read or watch. The criteria nowadays seems to be light, and soulful.

    1. I hear you SS. A lot of times I am reluctant to start a book because I am worried that it will take me away from things that I have to do. What are you reading now or what did you read last? Like you I am selective about what I read. My worst fear is I would pick a book that is a time pass. I like my books to leave me with a profound experience.

      On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 4:21 PM, Thoughts Unlimited wrote:


  4. Hi Maha,

    My latest read is Trevor Noah’s, Born a Crime. My son recommended it. I loved it.

    It reminded me of the Alexander McCall Smith series that I read several years ago as it was set in Africa as well. I loved that series as well.


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