I just finished reading “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and wanted to add it to my collection on GoodReads. Going through the list of my already read books on the site, I noticed something shocking. I had averaged only about 2 books a year in the last eight years! Which was surprising as I considered myself a “reader”. Man, time really does fly.

I distinctly remember the first few that got me hooked into the reading habit. I must have been in the 7th grade, watching cartoons, collecting Pokemon cards, playing video games and generally running around after school was over. One day I noticed that one of my friends was reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. Don’t remember which one it was, but he was reading a book during a short recess break of 10 mins and he looked hooked. I was intrigued. I learnt that these books were available in the school library. I picked up the first one that evening and that led to me reading 17 out of the 21 books in the famous five series, within that year. The rest were not available in our library.

To our surprise we did find out that more than a dozen of Sidney Sheldon novels were available in the library. These novels were particularly racy – sexual and violent and it was the best thing we had ever read. Oh man, whoever thought these were an appropriate read for school kids? My mom caught me reading one of them, but she was cool about it and said that she used to read Sidney Sheldon too! I did finally manage to read almost all of his books.

Soon after, I lost the habit due to pressures of high school and examinations – the tuition and homework in the evening after school left me no time. I remember picking up the habit briefly again, only to read the entire Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series during my first year at college. After that I must have read maybe one or two books a year. Mostly Dan Brown and Chetan Bhagat, as reading Chetan Bhagat was “the” thing during my college days. Except “the Godfather”, “To Kill a Mocking bird” and a book by Dorris Lessing, you will not find any great literature in my goodreads profile.

I really want to get back to reading 20 books a year. I still know that if I start reading one, I will get hooked and finish it within a week. But the trouble seems to be with starting. I think there are way too many distractions now than there was a decade ago (the internet, especially youtube) that makes it difficult for us to just pick up a book (or a kindle).

I have always been curious about people who seem to consistently devour several dozen books a year. I would love to know what got you started on the reading habit. Also, what’s your view on audio books?

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8 thoughts on “An addiction to renew?

  1. I have a long commute to and from work so I listen to audio books every day. I guess in the literal sense, no it’s not reading, but I check them off of my list of books to read anyway. About a year ago I saw a list of “100 books the BBC bets you haven’t read.” Well, I had read about 5 of them so I typed up the list in Excel and check them off as I go. I’m up to 20. Some are so terribly boring! So I know I’ll never get through all 100, but it put a little fire under me to read some books I wouldn’t otherwise have picked up.

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    1. Listening to audio books during commute is a good idea. I need to follow some good list of books to read. I seem to be reading whatever is popular or what my friends are reading. I’ll check out that list!

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  2. I read approximately seven books a week..sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the genre. I got into the habit of reading as a kid. I have dyslexia and it was so difficult to learn HOW to read that i am sort of scared NOT to read. What if I forget HOW? I’m too old to learn new stuff. I create time for reading. I find with a schedule of sorts I can easily read the books I wish to read. I turn off the computer, get a drink and literally change rooms and seating. I always read in our living room, in a comfy swingback chair with a good light next to me. I do not like the ebooks. There is something so impersonal about reading off a tiny screen. I would much rather feel the pages as they turn. I can see my accomplishment immediately with a real book. “oh look, I am halfway through” sort of accomplishment. I think if reading is something you truly wish to do, you simply have to make it a priority.

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  3. Thanks for visiting Suze! Seven books a week sounds amazing. And you are right that ebooks do feel impersonal. I too feel the same way.

    I think I just need to make it a habit or a schedule with a fixed place and time, like you have done. From tonight, I’ll be reading for an hour before going to sleep.

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  4. I started reading because of my dad. He introduced me to real classics like the “Just so stories” by Rudyard Kipling, and then went on to sherlock holmes a bit of Shakespere. You mention the Famous Five. That was a real favourite also The Secret Seven. I used to be called a reader. Like you somewhere in the middle, with kids, work etc kind of had a break. I am not reading a lot now, but definitely a lot more than a couple of years ago.

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  5. I am not a reader. Wifey is. She averages 2 a month. She devours novels, I devour chhole-bhature – we complement each other. Audio books aren’t for me…the accents (or their lack) drives me up the wall. And thanks for following my wordpress blog. Actually, I have a new blog now (at ROFLwithQSM) and if you could follow that, I might be able to serve you some quirky snarky malarkey 😀

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