Monday, July 30, 2007

Reading

Lady Divine mentioned in one of her comments that I must be someone who likes to read a lot, and I thank her for reminding me of a topic to write a post about. Reading is my #1 hobby so I thought it should deserve a mentioning.

I’m not sure when I got addicted to it or anything, but it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little kid. I would read anything that I could get my hands on. In the early days it was the Enid Blyton series, The Famous Five. The Five Find-Outers, Secret Seven and so on. Then came the Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators, and now, anything and everything. From Asteriks, to the works of Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Agatha Christie, P. D. James… well the list goes on and on and on…

A special mention must be made of Enid Blyton. All of her series are timeless. I still love reading one of those old books, especially the Five Find-Outers series, Fatty and the Gang on one of their adventures, with Mr. Goon the policeman trying to meddle in them. I think I’ll enjoy them even when I’m old and grey.

I guess I can thank my grandfather for my love of reading. He was a big reader too. Most of his stuff is gone now, but I do have his collection of Reader’s Digest magz, dating back to 1940s through to the seventies. And yes, I think I’ve read them all at least twice over. ( Not all at once, but over the span of 20 years or so :D). Guess I’m still continuing his tradition.

So why do I like reading so much? Because it creates a world where you can loose yourself, have adventures, be a hero, a lover or even the bad guy. You can go to the ends of the world, fly through space and time, discover new worlds, fight evil sorcerers and many more. And you can do all these things without leaving home. In my case I prefer to create my own movies when I’m reading, putting my favorite actors in the roles and so on. Makes the whole thing definitely more fun.

The other thing is that while engrossed in reading, you can forget about the real world, at least for a while. Personally I am someone who likes to be alone. I know what you are imagining, a psychotic loner holed up in a room stacked with books, who hasn’t seen sunlight for a long time. Well you can stop right there, coz that’s far from the truth as can be. I like hanging out with my friends and traveling all over. It’s just that I am someone who wouldn’t mind solitary confinement, as long as there’s an infinite supply of reading material.

I do have a small confession to make, which I feel guilty about. I don’t read Sinhala Fiction. Non-fiction, informative stuff I don’t mind but, not fictional stuff. It’s just maybe I haven’t come across any good contemporary Sinhala fictional works. I’m not talking about the old stuff from the likes of Martin Wickremasinghe and others of that genre, but new stuff. Ok maybe I haven’t done a good enough search, but most of the stuff I’ve seen on racks is the usual sob stories about girl meets boy, boy dumps girl, or parents put a stop to affair and both kill themselves, or something similar along these lines. No thank you… I’d rather read a label off a packet of biscuits. I must do a search and see if I can find anything interesting in the Sinhala fiction arena.

I take my leave with a few quotes about books and reading.

Cheers!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
Sir Richard Steele


Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
Arnold Lobel


Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
Horace Mann (1796 - 1859)


Never judge a book by its movie.
J. W. Eagan

5 comments:

Parthi said...

reading is just a grt source to go to places that u create on your own...this experience was given to me by the pleasure of reading the Harry Potter series...it just made my imagination go wild and think the unthinkable..i too was a fa of enid blyton when i was a kid and i remember me and my friend recreate the same adventures in our own backyard and house and have great fun with it....i wont forget such wonderful memories!

Lady divine said...

First of all lemme say - "you're welcome"....:-)

reading is something I love to do as well.. i used to visit the library very week back in my school days... Enid Blyton is indeed the one who got me into a lot of reading.. I loved all those books...

Now I'm into a lot of law stories.. I love John Grisham.. and Sydney Sheldon... I'm yet to find the books you've blogged about in your earlier posts...

Leiselb said...

Mmmmm.....I heart this post....

Azrael said...

Parthi - You can do the impossible. Yeah we used to recreate adventures too.

Lady Divine - He He...I try to visit the library and borrow some books at least twice a month...but time is not a friend.
I find most stuff at the BC but depends a lot on luck. A lot of the good books are checked out most of the time.

Leisel - Thanx...

sach said...

I'm a person who reads both Sinhala and English. Reading Sinhala fiction opens up an entirely new area to explore. And there are some really good translations. I don't know what your proficiency in English is but off the top of my head I'd recommend Monica Ruwanpathirana who was a poet. K. Jayatillake, Simon Nawagattegama, Sumithra Rahubadda and G.B. Senanayake have also written some good books. But like I said, depends on your proficiency in the language.