Reading in a FOMO driven world is not an easy task anymore. Two pages down and one starts thinking ‘how about giving a quick glance to Quora and find out what my favorite contributor up to?’Ten pages down and my mind start ticking to move my sorry posterior more, instead of, lounging on couch for too long.
So when I finished up reading precisely 24 books in a year, it was a feat for me (given my abysmal reading records in the years before). It has taught me few valuable lessons as well.
Self-help books are (mostly) over-hyped
The life-coaches, entrepreneurs and ‘self-made’ millionaires), peeking out of the covers with their perfect white teeth, power suit and well-combed hair (or sometimes bald-head), sound same and gibberish after one point of time.
Tip: If someone is into self-help books, I would like to suggest sticking to materials of the masters – a psychiatrist surviving holocaust or a Roman emperor practicing stoicism or the American lecturer-cum-writer who kick started the whole ‘self-improvement’ shebang, when he himself was born into poverty.
YA novels are for… YA
What is the first sign that you are getting old? For my mother, knees did it for her. For me, it has to be the YA genre. Gone are those days when I shamelessly devoured Twilight or basked in the glory of Katniss Everdeen. The hottest YA novel of 2017, “The Hate U Give” made me purge my mind by delving into Margaret Atwood next.
Tip: If you are above 30 and your curiosity is unbound then pick your YA with deliberation.
‘Gone girl who is on the train’ genre is wasted
My word view is pretty grim already. If you are like me and don’t want to shoot the darkness-in-the-mind thingy up, be very very careful about what I call the ‘gone girl who is on the train’ genre. I love Gillian Flynn but the damage her ‘awesomeness’ had done for thriller genre is irreparable.
Randomly pick one book from thriller, mystery category and you’ll find more often than not, the tale tells the tale of beautiful, rich, twisted people living in American suburbia and plotting and scheming throughout the day.
Sexy, femme fatale female lead, stoic, two-faced male lead doing dangerous and gut-wrenching things and boom- you get the poorer versions of “Gone Girl” or flimsier clones of an already flimsy “Girl on the Train”.
Tip: When the picture-perfect couple shots in social media pisses you off, then only you might take a stab at the above genre.
Tip to author: Stop calling grown-up women ‘Girls’.
Reading everything sucks
Unless you want to be a Facebook arm-chair activist or pseudo-intellectual (the much-abused term in Indian lingua franca these days). After indulging myself with few regency romances and thrillers, I suddenly felt a pang of guilt and started reading Carl Sagan, only to find the language archaic.
Tip: In anyway, reading what- is- not- your-cup-of-tea-but-otherwise -makes-you-sound-cool-in-the-party, only fans ego.
Reading is not the red pill
Elon Musk might have learned building rockets by reading but for a mere mortal like me- reading is for pleasure, to acquire nuggets of knowledge (not information as they are dime-a-dozen in the internet) and because it’s cheaper and more suitable for a lazy ass.
Also when English is not your mother-tongue then reading books in Queen’s language does improve your vocab. But that’s all what reading does for me. It didn’t help me make tons of money, winning the dating game or being the best ‘thing’ to my parents.
Tip: If you don’t enjoy reading, don’t force yourself. You might find much pleasure in a pissing contest. But don’t shoot silly question to your inconspicuous reader-friend like- ‘recommend me a good book’. It befuddles us.
In case you love reading, go low-key on “voracious”, “avid”, “bibliophile” terms on your social media bio.They have lost their pizzazz .
2 thoughts on “What I Learned After Reading 24 Books in 2017”
That’s such a lovely post.
I agree with so many things. The overused genre!! It’s like they see one book work and suddenly, half of the world wants to write a book like that.
India also has one – mythoglical fiction trilogies. That irritates me so much. And about those titles… the girl who blah blah… the boy who blah blah… It’s like you cannot even be original enough to pick a nice creative title. I am wondering what you did in the book!
Loved your comment. You are absolutely right. The ilk of Amish Tripathi and Pattanaik ruined mythology for me, as well.