Books et al

Nowadays I feel blessed to be able to find time to read more than ever before. There had been a huge backlog of books-to-read and I’m glad I’ve atleast begun my journey towards bridging the gap between wanted-to-read, reading and to-read ones. There’s just one small glitch, so many books and so less time! 🙂


I don’t know how people go about choosing a book but for me it’s a very tedious and baffling process. I somehow never go by reviews and pick up any book by pure instinct. No wonder then that many times my hunch is not completely correct and I end up wasting my precious time on books like The 3 Mistakes of my Life by Chetan Bhagat, Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho or Unruly Times by Prashant Bhavalkar.


I’m not a very literature obsessed person but I like to read sensible stuff. I prefer reading what I can follow without having to rack my brain for perceived meanings. I despise it when people think they sound intelligent when they add difficult looking and spelling words and twist the language unnecessarily. There’s a chance of the entire meaning of the sentence getting confused and the sequence getting lost, what good is it for the reader then?


Worse still is the current crop of ‘casual’ writers coming in. Any tom dick or harry who must’ve at some point of his life entertained the thought of writing a book finds himself getting backed by publishers who’ve started waking up to the fact that as long as they write anything relating to love it will sell. Quality no bar! Hence any IIT or IIM pass-out is seen coming out with some or the other love story of his/her own. The same campus ranting, lashing out at and by professors, clandestine romances, incomplete dreams etc is seen in most of them.


If some book does have a corporate backdrop then it sure talks about either super-achievers or super-losers, while in reality most people conveniently fall within these two categories. An extra-marital affair is suitably embedded in the story, anyhow. Simple sensibilities like honesty, respect, gratitude and empathy are blatantly frowned upon on shown in a dark light, almost as if they’re a crime. As long as it sells, nothing matters. Is this only what writing is about?


I do not wish to imply that all Indian authors are disappointing. We do have Sudha Murthy, V.S.Naipaul, Chitra Divakaruni Bannerjee, Mohyna Srinivasan etc who have a class of their own. Their books always succeed in teaching us a thing or two, if nothing else a few new words in English perhaps! 🙂


Sometimes I do rely on suggestions by people with a good taste and an even better judgement, like Nu, Titaxy and Swaram, and honestly I’ve never been disappointed. 🙂




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21 thoughts on “Books et al

  1. me too pick up books on pure hunch 🙂 But hey I liked '11 minutes'I haven't touched those IIT/IIMs love stories yet and don't intend to do that :)My recent fav has been 'Ruiz Carlos Zaffon' he has till now written 2 books and they are no doubt fab..check them..And thanks for this kind mention 🙂 BTW you can always refer the books blog that we have…for more reviews 🙂

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  2. Heyy…its nice to be back too! It had been such a long time since I last wrote and I'd been missing it a lot! :)I got a little bored towards the end, the whole 11 Minutes wasn't that bad though…I've steered myself clear of the IIT/IIM junk too. Its just that every time I go for a new book there's a whole new lot out there, even the titles aren't imaginative! :(I do go thru Bond with books,nice thing you got there :)Point noted and added on my wish-list. Will check it out…thanks 🙂

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  3. Welcome back, Varsh. And thank you for the mention. It is nice to know that our suggestions do help :)I usually pick up books following my instincts too. I read the back cover and pick it up if I like the storyline. And yes, more often than not, it's been working so far.

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  4. Welcome back Varsha! Missed you on blogosphere.Like Titaxy, I pick up books based on the blurbs too. Recently read the sequel to Little Princess though it is not by the same author. I usually go for teen books and the choice is very limited here. But I had a whale of a time in the public library at my son's place in London where I read as many books as I could!

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  5. Yay welcome bk Varsh. And thanks so much for the mention. Not sure if I do, but still ;)I pick up a few books too when the cover or the summary attracts me. Not been disappointed many times, hope it stays so 😉

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  6. Welcome back! Books…well, I generally go with the authors I already know and love — Jodi Picoult and Rohinton Mistry being my favourites. I browse through several bookstores and if I find something that looks interesting, I will give it a shot. I seem to prefer things with deeper meanings nowadays. Occassionally I do need a break and will read mysteries… 🙂

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  7. Been a long time since I could read at a stretch. What with baby around, I just have to pick up a book and she'll pounce on it, pretending to read! I usually go by authors and of course the blurbs behind.

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  8. @Titaxy: Hey T..glad to be back too :)Yes your suggestions do help. Sometimes when I've heard about some book and have my doubts I do go see in case you've mentioned it. The mention was inevitable then,right? :)How've you been??

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  9. @zephyr: Hi there…I'm missing reading you so much!! Feels like some important task is being left out :(I do go by authors sometimes and sometimes by the storyline. As in, Mario Puzo's Godfather was awesome but the sequels that followed could never match up to it, isn't it? I can imagine having a great time reading! I'm sometimes spoilt for choice! Right now I'm reading a book on the Cuban revolutionary war and enjoying it…

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  10. @Swaram: Hi dear…I had to mention you, ofcourse! :)I'd been procrastinating reading Sudha Murthy for a long time but after your accounts of her books I just couldn't hold back and read them in succession. I trust my instincts too, but what do they say, its easier to remember bad things over good ones? 😛

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  11. @PB: I go by authors occasionally, and more often than not I'm not disappointed. Genius has its way :)There was a time when I enjoyed reading fiction, but like you said I've diverted to more sensible stuff nowadays. Philosophy, non-fiction, self-help, parenting,etc also interest me now. The focus has broadened, and so has the range and sensibility of authors. But yes, once in a while Dan Brown, Jeff Archer or Robert Ludlum is fine with me. 🙂

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  12. @RGB: Same is my case dear! I get to read only when my son is at playschool. When he's at home, he hates me even touching the book. If I do, he makes a big show of going through it himself and throws it away almost instantly 'se it has no interesting A B C D's pictures! 😛

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  13. @Ashish: I'm humbled to find you taking the effort of coming up to my blog and mentioning it! I loved your book, it was truly inspiring. Looking forward to more brilliant stuff from you 🙂

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  14. Haha! Well its all about taste. I sometimes pick books that have been recommended and get thoroughly disappointed! Guess thats what libraries are useful for 😀

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