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?