I was first introduced to leisure reading through the classic Champak magazine. It soon became a necessity for long train rides during vacations. This habit evolved when my father gifted a Robin Sharma special, The Greatness Guide, to me. It was like an instrument that made me believe that I was doing something productive while going back home in my school bus.
Over my postgraduate years, I had mildly taken to reading self-help books. Now, academic reading is an unavoidable part of any student’s life. If you don’t read, you don’t move. The theories get piled up, the words get complex, the reasoning becomes profound. However, the experience – which is what matters the most in life – gets shallow. For me, reading books had become a means of survival, and not a window for the mind to expand and thrive.
I needed to ease out of that cycle and get that innocent reading experience from my school days back. Fortunately, the store I was interning at had a parking-lot book sale, where books were being sold by the weight (and not publishers or authors, much less the plot). I bought a thick Clive Cussler masterpiece as an experiment. Daydreaming was already an inseparable part of my routine, so I thought about reading books set beyond the realm of reality. It didn’t take me long to enjoy these escapades. Every other aspect of my routine seemingly paused, as if to let me wander around for a bit and explore a new world, until another assignment came calling. I was done reading the book in a week and, obviously, craved for more.
I began to bond with bookworms in my campus and, in return, they would lend me some of their favorite books – it helped to be recommended by the connoisseurs of some of the best books around! This not only gave me a chance to read some extremely good books, but I also got to go through various genres, from comics to self-help books to novels. I realized that books were a unique mode of communication; they were the guides to our imagination. It goes without saying that this habit also helped me in my academic endeavors as I was able to organize my ideas, which I had obtained from my meticulous perusal of research papers and other books.
I’m currently giving biographies a try, starting with Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman. I’m planning on reading one every fortnight. All in all, I feel that reading helps us recognize the minuscule stature of the human brain as compared to its vast impact. If you can think it, you can do it.
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