“He that loves reading has everything within his reach”
Love reading? Read on.
Reading: A ritual
Imagine yourself reading a book while sitting under a huge tree with loads of shade, bright warm sunshine with rays passing through the leaves. Nothing around but the sound of birds chirping, a slight breeze rustling the leaves of the tree and then suddenly a whiff of lavender reaches you from somewhere. Its relaxing scent makes you want to take a break. You lie on your back and watch the clouds looking like wisps of a cotton pass by slowly in the cerulean sky through the leaves and branches of this wonderful benevolent tree. Oh, how lovely summer reading is!! Of course, I also love winter reading. It’s more of a ritual actually, picking a spot near the window, curling up with your favorite book on a huge comfortable chair with fuzzy socks and a throw to keep you warm. The wet snow clad view outside and a huge warm mug of hot cocoa. Maybe some brownies warming up in the evening or the Bath and Body Works sweater weather candle diffusing on your coffee table. Soothing music on low volume. Comforting isn’t it.
Let me read!! The 10-year old me
I love reading since childhood. But there was a time I lost this hobby I loved so dearly. In school, I used to borrow books from our library, mainly Hardy boys, Nancy Drew and the Famous Five with their cute dog Timmy. My Aai used to often catch me reading these books hidden in my academic textbooks. She used to tell me “Read textbooks now and keep the rest for vacations”. I used to shut those books with a sigh of grief. But as we grew up we had so many academic books to study, that this passion for leisure reading was lost. Every time I used to pick up a novel to read, I had this guilty feeling “Why don’t you read the biology textbook instead of this. At least that will get you marks”. Then arrived the professional life in all its glory, when the time was spent mainly in front of the computer screen, in meeting rooms making presentations or at an after-work party with colleagues. My books and my passion kept gathering dust.
“I never feel lonely if I’ve got a book – they’re like old friends. Even if you’re not reading them over and over again, you know they are there. And they’re part of your history. They sort of tell a story about your journey through life.”
Then a day came when I was in Toronto, Canada. New place, harsh winter, no family and most importantly no friends. Outdoor activities were out of the question so I reverted to my old loyal friend for comfort. That’s right my sweet friend ‘the book’. I feel reading a book is very similar to tasting wine. It’s not only about the ‘taste’ or in the case of books ‘learning’ but also the experience. When I go back to a book I have already read, I remember the place, people around me, the different kind of smells associated with it. Maybe my mom was cooking my favourite dal or I found a piece of paper in the book, it’s a hospital pass from when I was waiting in the hospital for my sister to deliver her first child and used that as a bookmark. It’s connected to memories, people, life actually. Like wine, you may have your favourite/go-to genre but each book must be appreciated for what it is. No book is bad. It’s just that your genre preference varies.
Anyways, coming back to the summer reading. This year I decided to have a list just like a bucket list for this summer season so that I spend enough time with my dear friend and keep nurturing our friendship as it is one friendship I resolve to keep for life. So, here is the list of books I plan to read this summer.
1. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
4. The Finisher by David Baldacci
5. The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn
6. Balthazar by Claudia Gray
7. Abroad by Katie Crouch and finally
8. Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck