New year, new books, new resolutions! This month, the Desi Writers’ Lounge team is sharing its reading resolutions: goals for the new year, finally tackling those to-be-read piles. Join the conversation by sharing your resolutions in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter.
My reading resolutions are as follows:
1. To go back in time – mentally – when you read for the sake of reading. And not for those “suitable extracts” or “characterization deconstructions” or “plot studies” or “literary/cultural references” that can be woven in, at pertinent junctures, when you interview the goddamn author! Basically, to disassociate reading from work.
2. To find the book that becomes the soundtrack to your life, your very own personal rock anthem – if Catcher in the Rye meant something at a certain age and The Stranger at another; if Fountainhead and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy really spoke to you way back then; if Shadow Lines defined yet another moment and Life is Elsewhere killed you, then there’s gotta be something for the jaded late 30s life phase too! So find that seminal cult life-phase marker of a book again, already.
3. To never ever call a book that – a seminal cult life-phase marker. (In fact, can we ban the word seminal while we’re at it? Or is that another blogpost?)
4. To read more writing in its original language – which means Nirmal Verma & Krishna Sobti. (Note to self: Consider learning another language then, so we’re not restricted to Hindi as the only other choice. Urdu for Manto & the poets? French for Camus? Yup, definitely another blogpost).
5. To be more aware of that classic reading trap that makes the grave error of equating the process of writing the book with the experience of the book itself. Judge it for that and that alone, and not for what the writer was trying to do – If he spent his time blind-folded bumping around his room to get into the head of his blind protagonist, well, good for him, but frankly, I don’t give a damn. A book is a book is a book.