What is your favorite book and why?

This is not an easy question for those who read extensively. And it can be a very easy question for someone who has only read a handful. But I think this question is relevant and interesting. Let me share my point of view.

I was not much into reading books as a kid, I started reading when I was in my mid twenties. The problem with this is that I have not read many of the classics which are read by a majority of people. I am still catching up on them.

If we do not build a reading habit early in life, it is very difficult building one as we grow. I struggle even now. I don’t think reading comes naturally to me. I am also a very slow reader. That said, I read around 25 books on average every year and have done a maximum of 52 books a year as a challenge. But it is a lot of effort for me. Reading is not effortless for me, just because I did not build that habit as a kid.

A ‘Favorite book’ is something that changes from time to time in my opinion. And I feel this is because we also change. But there could also be books we go back to again. Or books and characters that come back to our mind every now and then. 

As I write this, I am thinking about my favorite book. But I realize that for many only the cover comes to mind. We forget things in a nice tidy way. That said, I think every book that I have read is a favorite for me because there are so many books I have not gone past the first 10 pages. So if I have read it completely it is because I really liked them. Books are not like movies that you sleep through and wake up at the end.

I think my time and life is way more precious than a book that does not connect me in 10 pages. I am sure some people might disagree. But that is just me. 

I have to confess that there is one book I have gone again and again to read and finally finished it over a few years. This was one of the most famous and loved books of our times. For some reason I just could not progress through it. But once I finished reading it, it just started growing inside me.

It still grows, the characters and the imagery.. the narration. There are many times I find myself in Macondo. My own Macondo. My own Macondo… Yes it was Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude 

Is that my favorite book? If you favor a book by the time it took for you to read and finish.. then… yes.. for sure. But I guess, because I took time, I feel I have lived in Macondo way more than someone who read it in one sitting.

Going past Márquez I think the book that is really creating an unbearable havoc inside me in Isabelle Wilkinson’s ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents’. It is a book that is making me look at the world differently. Look at me differently. I read it recently a few weeks back. You must read it if you have not.

I would also mention Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment because I read that also this year. When I spoke to it to a friend, he said ‘the book will create a shift in you.

Categories: Personal Development

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