Saturday, May 21, 2011

About Books and Bookends

Indian Fiction

Since the time ‘Five Point Someone’ changed the face of Indian fiction, the industry is flooded with this new genre of books, made popular by Chetan Bhagat. Personally, I don’t think highly of his books. But I would give him the credit for bringing an entire generation to the wonderful hobby of reading. Even my husband, who by the way hates the sight of books and has probably read 2-3 non-academic books in his life, has read FPS in one sitting.

There is a section of people who perhaps take reading as a medium to pass time and expect nothing else. They are not expecting ‘acquaintance with another world’, ‘enriching their language or knowledge’ or ‘though provoking insights’; they are just looking at it as something they can easily relate to.

But for me, reading is a serious business. I don’t take it lightly. There is a world of books out there, even a lifetime is not enough to read them. So, I would rather pick books which mean something to me - intellectually, emotionally stimulating, something which leaves an imprint long after I have finished reading it.

So, after reading ‘One Night @ Call Centre’, I have steered clear of this entire genre. It does nothing for me. I do enjoy chicklits once in a while but I would still prefer someone like Sophie Kinsella. I think she is hilarious. But after reading all her books, I am enjoying even her writing a little less now, because they are all very similar in tone, manner and story graph.

I enjoy reading Indu Sundaresan, Shashi Deshpande, Jhumpa Lahiri but I do not have any favourites per se. Surprisingly, I am yet to read Salman Rushdie (I have started ‘Midnight’s Children’), Kiran Desai, V.S.Naipaul, Vikram Seth (a fat ‘A Suitable Boy’ awaits my attention) and so many more. I don’t read authors, I read subjects.


If you love books, you would certainly love cute / interesting bookends. The first time I saw Mukul Goyal’s ID Bookends in BBC Good Homes, I hunted it down to a store in Pune and bought it (though frankly it was a bit expensive but they look lovely). I also love these ‘quote-unquote’ and ‘a to z’ bookends. I have not been able to find them anywhere so far!

Reading Pause

With some renovation stuff happening at home, and the carpenter giving us a tough time going far beyond the schedule with no closure in sight, I have not been able to concentrate on reading any book. There are atleast 3 different books on my side table, which I intend to read simultaneously. All 3 are very interesting and completely different. I won’t name them because the moment I say I am reading this book, I struggle to finish it, and this has happened too many times now so I have become quite superstitious about it. I can certainly dwell on the kind of books those are - 1 is a historical fiction, another on Indian English language and the third one is a non-fiction.