November 22, 2008


After spending many hours copiously poring over thick textbooks during my university years I had lost my habit of recreational reading. A surplus of free time in India led to the resurrection of this hobby. As public libraries are uncommon in India, I borrowed books from roommates or coworkers or purchased them from sidewalk vendors. In the present, my arduous transit journey from home to work to home provides a daily 150 minute long time slot suitable for reading. Once (or if) I procure a seat I pull out my book to read or peruse one of the free newspapers that are distributed to the ridership.

A voracious reader, over the past two years I have enjoyed at least 32 books spanning from classics such as 1984 and Slaughterhouse Five to recent bestsellers such as The Kite Runner and The Da Vinci Code. Repeat authors appearing in my reading list are Rohinton Mistry, Michael Crichton, Paulo Coelho, Chetan Bhagat, Dan Brown, and W. Somerset Maugham. Non fiction such as Guns, Germs and Steel and Freakonomics or comedic relief in the form of 3 Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) provide a welcome change to the emotionally heavy efforts by writers of Indian origin. For instance, The Namesake and Fine Balance have their happy moments but are primarily depressing. A varied diet of books makes for an interesting read each and every time.

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