If you thought that the IITians were a bunch of techies with their heads not thinking beyond mechanics, electronic and computers then you might want to think again.
Besides technology, they also quite enjoy the murder mysteries, thrillers, fictions and romances with Agatha Christie being the one of the most read authors at IIT Indore.
Deputy librarian Anjali Bandiwadekar says, “Though the students are busy with their routine studies, they find solace in reading and spend much time in library. The new batch is more enthusiastic. They borrow books more often.”
As the present system of education lacks in inculcating the habit of reading, the professors at the IIT Indore designed a syllabus especially to suit the needs of the students who come from all parts of the country and have varied mother tongues.
“We have Indian authors whose translations are taught in the English classes here so that the students can refer to the available literature in Hindi to understand it better,” said Joe, English professor at IIT Indore.
Amongst the Indian authors read by the IITians, its not just IIT alumnus Chetan Bhagat. These future engineers have a liking for Anita Desai, Arvinda Adiga, Khuswant Singh and Kiran Desai too.
Some of the books that are often out of the library include- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Selected writings of Mahatma Gandhi, 1984 by George Orwell, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller and (no wonder) the science books by Stephen Hawking.
“The demand for books also depends upon what is going on around the world. During the release of Harry Potter, those books are in demand and even Chetan Bhagat's books were in demand during the release of the movie 'Three Idiots'. They also pick up inspirational and motivational books during the exam time,” said Bandiwadekar. Talking about the overall trend in the city, bookseller at city's well- known store Reader's Paradise says, “The youth today come to buy only when they have it as a part of assignment in their schools. I have my fixed set of customers who read and encourage their children to read.”
Chairman of Indore Sahodaya School Complex (group of CBSE schools) Sriniwas Rao said, “Parents need to encourage their children to read and even the schools should encourage reading in the primary and middle classes.”
IIT-I director Pradeep Mathur said, “We encourage the reading habits amongst children and our students also have a literary club which publishes students' magazine.” This literary club encourages students to write for the magazine and also captures the events at the IIT.