I am a firm believer of Francis Bacon’s analysis on Studies : “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
I read almost everything under the sky – fiction, non-fiction, I have dipped my feet in Indology, I have dabbled with biographies and autobiographies as well – though the last two are not my favourite genres to read. I love mysteries and also medical essays. I religiously spend time reading newspapers everyday and some current affairs magazines. And being a social media buff, I read lot of articles via the medium, jumping from one link to another till I have forgotten where I started from. What I have stayed away completely from are self-help and motivational books as also sci-fi category – they really are not my cup of tea. And a disclaimer – I love romance – from old classics to new age authors as well as Mills & Boon categories including Georgette Heyer to Barbara Cartland, Lucy Walker to Victoria Holt – I have read them all and still do.
There are books that I read repeatedly, though it’s driven more by authors than category – so I have read and re-read Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, Arthur Conan Dyle and Agatha Christie, Mark Tully and William Dalrymple, Ruskin Bond and Vikram Seth, Shashi Tharoor and Ramchandra Guha, in last couple of decades – these are just like comfort food or a comfortable friend, no pretence at all.
And there are few authors I am still trying to struggle to read like Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, VS Naipaul – I want to read them, I know I will reach there but perhaps it’s not the time yet. It took me a decade to finish Harper Lee’s magnum opus from the time I first started it, so I know that it just is a question of time for these brilliant authors on my reading timeline.
And also thanks to few friends who read a lot, I get lovely recommendations that help me discover new authors and new books. And these too get added to my wish list and as per taste of the mind get picked up on the way!
Lovely Pooja – our ‘likes’ only overlap here and there, and that is partly a function of ageing – my tastes tended more towards yours a few decades ago. However, our ‘no-go’ zones are absolutely the same! I actually have a couple of the self-help variety, which some non-reading friends have given as gifts to the ‘reader’! I find it difficult to throw books away – so it gets aired and put away on the back shelf every now and then.
As I said, I will also probably reach your zone couple of decades down the line!