It is an early morning on a weekend and I am trying to get my thoughts together to plan for the year end trip to Pondicherry. One of the key decisions is to pick up my favourite books that I want to read during this year-end break. There are books all around my work-desk reminding me that I have been too busy to read this year. Probably the first year in more than two decades that I am not able to read at least 15 books. While I do track how many books I read every year but I am not that much worried about the number of books I read; I am more worried about how my reading is changing.
During the last 2-3 years, my reading has started to changed at its core. I still read but it is not the same. I used to get immersed in the books. Connect with the books and often forge such a bonding that end of a good book used to create a void. But such deep reading is a rarity these days. For me more than what I read, how I read matters more. There is something unique about the process of reading, it is a kind of meditative process that fundamentally changes you. There are scientific studies that confirm this!
While I have maintained the habit of reading before the bed time, but the reading was more to catchup on themes that I work professionally : climate change, development finance and impact investment etc. I read articles, reports and newsletters but could not get back to my reading list that I had planned for this year. Every year, I pick up themes for my reading and I wanted to read “modern fiction classics” but sadly I could not finish even one from the list.
I did buy a lot of books this year. Mostly non-fiction. I have got somewhat clarity about what I read in physical form and what I read on my Kindle. Most of the fiction I read is on my kindle but I buy physical copies of non-fiction and I buy them from my neighbourhood bookshop: Baharisons. While Amazon gives me easy to access to any book that I want to buy but it can never match the cosy and alluring charm of bookshelf full of colourful titles. We need more physical bookshops and that means we need to buy more books in physical form from our neighbourhood stores.