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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014
Books, Rules and Lessons
Saudamini Jain, Hindustan Times
September 15, 2012
First Published: 18:11 IST(15/9/2012)
Last Updated: 18:13 IST(15/9/2012)

I get paid to write. And most of my salary goes into buying books. So my love affair with everything in print is as deep as it gets. Here’s a little list of things that life has taught me about books. Some have become commandments.

Feel free to add yours.

1.     There’s no such thing as a wound that a book cannot heal. Dysfunctional family, a bad break-up, a nearly empty wallet… all you need is a good book, any good book. Or even a bad book (if this crap can get published, I can be the President). 

2.     Don’t judge someone by what they read but by whether they read. And whether they understand whatever they attempt to read.

3.     Buy a bookshelf. Fill it with books.

4.     Save old copies of magazines. Re-read.

5.     It’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover. Someone worked hard to make it look like it does.

6.     Even one non-fiction book a year goes a long way.

I missed the Delhi Book Fair. Again. Another rule: Never Again.


7.     Start a conversation with someone reading your favourite book on the train/bus/metro.

8.     Long Distance Relationships are easier if you send each other books.

9.     By the time you’re 21, you should have found your favourite bookstore and favourite second-hand bookstore.

10. Watch the films, listen to the audiobooks.

11. It’s not a holiday, if you didn’t read a single book.

12. If it’s your copy, scribble in the margin. In pencil. Revisiting that book will be more comforting.

13. Learn to make the perfect mug of hot chocolate. When it’s cold outside, curl up with a good book and a big mug.

14. If you post your poetry on Facebook, the odds are someone is making fun of you. There’s also the possibility that you’re a terrible writer.

15. Read random blogs.

My Reading list

On the bedside: Love Warps The Mind A Little by John Dufresne.

Lafayette Proulx is a struggling writer. His wife throws him out. His dog eats everything. His new girlfriend is dying. “Love is anticipation and memory, uncertainty and longing. It's unreasonable, of course. Nothing begins with so much excitement and hope and pleasure as love, except maybe writing a story. And nothing fails as often, except writing stories. And like a story, love must be troubled to be interesting.” I’m halfway through. It’s hilarious and it’s sad. So far, so good.

Last read: Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.

Go for it, if you haven’t read any other versions of the epic. You should own a copy but only because it’s more like a disinterested guide to the Mahabharata.

Next in line: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I loved the film. You should watch it.


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