I started 2019 by yet again making clichéd ‘new years resolutions’, gym, health, wealth etc. And again keeping in line with clichés, the determination lasted a grand total of 100… hours. Ironically, I type this as I’m replenishing my body with calories that I never burnt, to compensate for the gym I never went to.
Towards the end of 2018, I rekindled (pun intended) my passion for books. (I also upped my pun-game, or attempted to. Too. 2.). As someone who’s fixated on her smart phone, with soaring screen times due to Instagram, I felt it was time I slowly deteriorate my eyes but instead of looking at photos, I decided to compensate with intellect. Thus, Kindle. So to sum up my erratic thoughts, I got a Kindle. I like my Kindle. I read more. I learn.I felt it was time to reconnect with something I wholeheartedly enjoyed during my teens, and delved back into reading various Genres. I used to borrow several books over holidays, read for pleasure, and even wait keenly in line during book fairs. To add to the nerdiness, I was also a very committed library monitor during school.
I used to tell people to either be quiet or leave the library. After I grew up, I knew being quiet wasn’t possible, so I decided to never enter a library again. Or so that’s my defense anyway. To be serious, after taking English classes during school and college, it was a natural progression drifting away from prose after my education years. The era of digital information also pushed me to distance from reading long articles and texts, and reading more concise, and informative passages.
During my prolonged hiatus from books, Buzzfeed articles, wall street news notifications, 140 character tweets, and Instagram captions became my substitutes for reading. Recently, an overwhelming digitization of my world made me crave going back to simplicity, and a more familiar way to get information. Books.
As guilty as I am, of repelling books, I wanted to change. I read about Michelle Obama’s memoir, and as a great believer in many of her philosophies and rhetoric, I thought this would be a great place to start. Since her ‘Let Girls Learn’ campaign, I’ve been an avid follower of hers online, her grace, dignity, and her general demeanor. Though I optimistically asked my family for a Kindle on my 24th Birthday, I still was ‘surprised’ when I did. I instantly downloaded (or had someone download it for me)… (Suspense)…(unnecessary pauses)…(still building up)…Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”.
Initially I thought, ‘great, 448 pages’. But once I started reading it, the pages moved by swiftly, and when it ended I thought no wait, there has to be more. So, I hope that there is a volume two, and another chapter in her life. Though, I must admit initially I was only sporadically reading it on commutes to work, or quick breaks, but once I read it at length on a single seating, I found it hard to put down. I was engrossed. I strongly recommend this book to everyone, it was inspirational, powerful, and genuinely changed my outlook towards life. Sometimes it takes one trigger to change the trajectory of our lives, sometimes it’s a build up of triggers, sometimes its just deciding to read something and picking the relevant parts. This book though written by a former first lady, still was relevant and allowed me to empathize with her, but in doing so also allowed the book to resonate with me.
In the last three months, I’ve read five books. And I now wonder why I ever stopped reading. It’s now an integral part of my day, and instead of being a forced part of my routine, its what I look forward to the most. I’ve read Becoming by Michelle Obama, Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur, Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna, The Legends of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna and half way through Ikigai by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles. And honestly, this is a big deal for me!
While I was reading, I came up with a list of other books that were on my list of ‘pending books to read someday.’ – Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan – China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan – The Sadness of Beautiful Things by Simon Van Booy – Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson – How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price – Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women by Ann Shen and the list goes on and on!
I’m proud to have stuck to this goal and bring back reading. Finding time to read in between a busy day or commutes refreshes my mind and aligns my thoughts. It’s the perfect kind of me-time I enjoy. It’s liberating to be glued to my Kindle for a change than my phone (disclaimer: as much as possible). Open to recommendations! Please leave them down below!
P.S. Thank you! ❤️