Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bitten By the Book Bug

I cannot remember exactly when I started reading. In fact, I was a late starter. I, like every boy of my time, used to pore over my favorite newspaper The Hindu's sports pages, relishing the purple prose Rajan Bala and later Nirmal Shekhar. As I entered college, I discovered James Hadley Chase. I read him feverishly, finishing more than 50 novels of his in the process. Slowly, I got introduced to Harold Robbins, Irving Wallace, Nick Carter and bit later Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer. Frederick Forsyth fascinated me with his well-researched thrillers. I became a member of British Council library in the early 1990s. It was like entering Aladdin's cave. Rows and rows of book shelves invited me to devour them. I fell in love with science fiction genre during this time and read lots of Arthur Clarke, Brian Aldiss, J G Ballard. Later I joined USIS library and got an opportunity to read Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and other science fiction greats. Hand in hand, I read popular science books too - Carl Sagan, Heinz Pagels, Richard Dawkins, etc. I read spy thrillers a lot too - Len Deighton, Ted Allbeury, John Le Carre, Robert Ludlum, Ton Clancy. Yes, it took me some time to move from light reading to more serious stuff. I read some great American novels like Uncle Tom's Cabin, Catch-22, The Catcher in the Rye during this period. As a member for Connemara Public Library, I got great opportunity to read Indian writers in English. I read English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee, Amitav Ghosh's books, Vikram Seth, Shashi Tharoor, Nayantara Sehgal, Anita Desai. I continue to read lot of books and it is proving to be a fascinating journey. Let me finish this rambling account with a great quote by Emily Dickinson:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

1 comment:

Gopinath's "Artickles" said...

Oh, you have come a long way, Krishnan. Wish you more reading pleasures in the days to come.