A friend recently expressed his wish to guest write for my blog and emailed me the following. I’m just gonna go ahead and put it right here!
I hope this helps the ones who haven’t started reading yet or who would like to get back to this magical world!
How I got back to Reading!
‘I can’t find time to read’.
‘My schedule is tight’.
‘I can’t concentrate till the end even if I start reading a book’.
‘I don’t have the book I want to read at this moment.’
These are some of the many excuses that I have been giving myself for the past, I don’t know how many years. . .
As I kid I used to read a lot. My obsession with books started when I was eight. My grandfather was a member of this library right across the street from where I lived. He was an avid reader and I grew up watching him read a huge variety of books. The library allowed a member to take two books at a time and he used to take me with him to choose a book of my liking. At that age, I wasn’t interested in anything other than comics; anything other than Archie’s and the kind.
One fine day my grandfather got frustrated with my choice of books and asked me to choose anything but a comic book. I didn’t know what to read at that time, so I asked him if I could read the book that he was reading. He happily handed me the copy of The Godfather, by Mario Puzo. I was 9!
Now those of you have read the book (and am sure almost all of you have) would know that The Godfather is not something a child could read or understand. That precisely was my plan. To try and read it, and then go to him complaining that I don’t understand anything so he would let me go back to my comics.
When I actually went to tell him that I couldn’t understand the words, he said and I quote, “So what? Keep reading. Finish it.” What he said took me by surprise! He wanted me to read new words and if I didn’t understand them, I was to look ‘em up in the dictionary, and even after that, if I was confused, I was to ask him.
I finished The Godfather, barely grasping the story after going through the aforementioned drills. But the accomplishment of finishing the book lit a desire for more. I enrolled into the library at my school and it opened to me a world of books like ‘The Famous Five’, ‘Goosebumps’, ‘Hardy Boys’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and many more. I was hooked.
Nothing could stop me now.
Nothing except work.
At twenty two, I dropped out of college to open my own little cafe. I have always been passionate about food and hence, the cafe! The problem with that was a tremendous amount of workload. My reading had anyway reduced during college, but it just stopped after work started. My TBR list just kept getting bigger but I was never able to start, let alone finish a book. It was frustrating.
One day I said to myself “That’s it! I am going to start reading tomorrow.” I went out and bought the box set of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. With renewed hope I opened the first book. Read ten pages. Got bored. And quit. I was more interested in my phone or my laptop.
I thought this was it. I will never read again. I was consumed by technology and the internet. But then, after reading my good friend Tanuja’s blog, I approached her for some advice. She told me a trick to get back to reading. She lent me a “book light”! She gave me a book; Pay the Devil by Jack Higgins (with a bookmark as well!) and told me to read it every night till i fell asleep.
Well guess what?
I finished the book in just two days. I thought to myself “I am back”. This was yesterday. Today I am reading Open by Andre Agassi and I am already at the quarter mark of the book. I believe I wouldn’t be stopping again. Let’s see how it works out in the future.
– Akhil Katkar
( Owner of BreadandButter)