The aroma of the freshly bought book swept over me. As I sifted through the crisp pages with my fingers, the bright pictures in it seemed to call out to me. It wasn’t an alien language but seemed overwhelming nevertheless. Pity though, to feel so for everyone’s childhood favourite Chandamama! Having studied in a convent school Hindi and Marathi appeared in our course much later than English. Interestingly, those were the only books available at home. My parents, like many others we knew, weren’t comfortable with the language they paid a tidy sum to get us educated in. Anyway, those stories and loads of other comics like Chacha Choudhary, Faster Fene, Motu Patlu, etc got me interested in reading. Although it started as a way to kill time, it gave me immense joy and served as a happy escape.
College and new friends introduced me to a whole new world of fiction books. Ayn Rand, Mario Puzo, Sydney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Robin Cook, to name a few. Classics came about much later and I’m still discovering them. I delved into each book with a passion I never knew before. Michael Corleone and Howard Roark beckoned me with their raw charm while Richard Armstrong and Keith Townsend’s enmity gave me a glimpse of the real world. The teenager in me received and held on to unknown emotions like surrender, deceit, betrayal, love, friendship, and life. I went to bed with a book and clandestinely pored over one during class. I was unstoppable. The reading bug had bitten me hard. What’s more, the more I read, the more I wanted to write. It was an amazing learning experience!
While we often had animated discussions about everything around books, words deserted me when I tried to write my first review. It needed deeper analysis, articulation, and the ability to be unbiased for my intelligent readers. I had to be honest and curb the fan (or unimpressed) girl voice in my mind. It also meant reliving the whole reading experience and including noteworthy instances in the review for a clearer picture. Now let’s be honest, not every book deserves this. Sometimes there’s a lot to say, and sometimes nothing at all. Popular books can be disappointing and one can warm up to a book no one else does. Reading is fun but book reviewing is an art that needs dedication and mastering. Luckily, I worked on it, and myself, after a jumpy start.
After writing an ebook and editing one, I can safely say that reading has enriched my mind and made it curious to explore. I rekindled my love with my Kindle a couple of months ago, and it has been on my bedside since then. Although I love thrillers, I’ve read romance to understand the storytelling process. Predominantly an English reader, I’ve read more than fifteen short books in Marathi. I’ve picked random authors and checked out their work. It is an interesting practice and I’m enjoying it a lot.
None of them was reviewed (rated them though), it was all for the pleasure of reading. Does that mean I don’t like to review? Of course not. I’m a book reviewer but since I don’t have a book blog I tend to take liberties. I immensely respect those amazing book reviewers who put in so much hard work to let us know what to expect as readers. Reading challenges and marathons seem slightly overbearing for me and I prefer to keep away. I like to pick my read and decide my pace to meet new characters and know their stories. Writing a short stories collection or novel has been a cherished dream and will hopefully happen soon too. This makes me a hobby reviewer, a compulsive reader, and a learning writer. Best of the three worlds, yes?
This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop
© This site A Vibrant Palette is the property of Varsha Bagadia. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Varsha Bagadia and A Vibrant Palette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.