“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is said that hobbies define a person. What an individual prefers to do at the spare time portrays his outlooks towards life. I cannot hide my pleasure in admitting that reading is my hobby or rather I am a bookaholic!
I firmly believe that it is not the looks, the money or profession that defines a person. But I am doubtful whether I can confidently say that about books someone owns. As it intimately reflects the person that owns it, someone’s personal collection of books paints an undistorted picture of the individual himself.
Indeed reading creates a metamorphosis in a person. Someone who reads voraciously, will incontrovertibly go through a great evolution. I dedicate this blog to explaining my own metamorphosis through years of reading.
A history of my reading
As a toddler, I absolutely loved children’s comics. Eagerly waiting for the weekly children’s comic that reached my home early Friday morning, I used to pester my Dad to read it to me. He had a whimsical way of reading or acting out the comic which made it more enjoyable.
By the age of ten, my parent’s personal library caught my attention. ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer‘ may be the first book I have read. Gradually, my reading evolved from comic books to children’s stories.
At about the same time I got to reading M.K. Gandhi’s autobiography, ‘The Story of My Experiments with truth‘. This book had profound impact on my thought process and outlooks. From then on, I started reading auto-biographies and memoirs. It fascinated me to explore how the great minds worked.
I loved reading detective stories like Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, crime thrillers, Harry Potter and other fictional stories as any teen would at this time.
Getting more serious
At the age of sixteen, my brother Dinu invited my attention to M.Scott Peck’s best seller ‘The Road Less Traveled‘. The book opened me up the amusing world of psychology and studies of how the human mind worked. I searched for similar books and found some engaging reads.
It was my friend Geethu who initiated me to the world of poetry. Through her I also started off with categories like history and politics. Though a malicious cancer snatched her up from our lives in 2016, her memories lives with me through the books she introduced me to.
While doing my graduation in Electrical Engineer, I got amused on general science and astrophysics. Manu Sreekumar,a good friend from the college, and me used to discuss for hours about the concepts in the books which captured our imagination.
At about the same time, I got attracted to Osho and through him to spirituality and philosophy. Further, the books of Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, J. Krishnamurty, and Nataraja Guru catalyzed my interest in the genre. Though I still can’t completely comprehend the ideas of Kant or Hegel, I thoroughly enjoy reading their works.
“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
From the small child consumed by love of comic books to a young man who enjoys philosophy was a long journey. But it totally influenced my attitude and outlook towards life. I can testify to how reading can evolve from a fun activity to a serious and enjoyable exercise that changes the course of a person’s life.
It is astounding how one book directed me to another and that to some other thus giving me a guideline to flow smoothly through different genres. Thus from a scarce twelve to fifteen books yearly, I evolved to reading thirty to thirty-five.
Being trapped in a genre
I feel so happy seeing people immersed in reading. I know the pleasure of being astrally projected into a world unlike anything that we can conjure up in our imagination.
“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes
Nevertheless, I sometimes feel for those who are stuck in a particular categoty. Many people just read novels and short stories, some others read only science or poems. Though it is not bad to read any of this, I feel bad for them because of the amusing world that they are missing.
They are like children who repeatedly gets on the same ride in Disney World. It might be fun, but they will surely enjoy more if they venture to explore more.
“Beware of the person of one book.” – Thomas Aquinas
Once they have a taste of different genres, they will surely indulge more and will be transformed.
The skilled sculptor.
Like a sculptor who chips the unnecessary chunks away from a rock and shapes a beautiful piece of art out of it, reading can bring out latent talents in anyone.
My gathered up thoughts from reading was poured onto my personal diary occasionally which somehow caught the attention of my cousin Lijo. He prompted me to start a blog to share my thoughts to the world. Hence I, who never thought would be able to put two sentences together, became a blogger and subsequently; freelance writer.
Evolution through reading
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan
Books can easily add clarity to the thoughts of an individual. Through the right thoughts, the mind evolves. Thus a person will flourish and become empowered with mental faculty unique to humans.
To achieve that, we should unleash reading and let it graze freely in different genres as it wishes. Who knows what provokes and shapes a different individual out of us!
So from a bookaholics point of view, reading is the best hobby ever.
Thank you for reading. Please express your opinions in the comment box below. Please do share the title of the books that you love too.