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Tsundoku

I recently learned about the practice of Tsundoku, which means hoarding books in vast numbers, more than you ever intend to read.

I admit – I’m guilty of this. The appearance, the smell and the touch of books excites me so much. Even the sound of the spine of a hardcover being cracked open!

If I don’t have a big TBR I don’t feel life is worth living. The large list of books I want to read practically gives meaning to my life! I live and love to read them one by one and knock them off my list.

Despite having hundreds of books in my shelves, I still maintain a huge list which I plan to wade through whenever my kids allow or after they sleep. Both of them suffer an unfortunate tendency to tear out the last few pages from my books, which makes reading crime thrillers or suspense thrillers a somewhat unviable enterprise.

For a few years in between I quelled my urge of buying new books by getting hooked to the neighbourhood library, but as the quality there started dipping, I renounced my membership and now manage with KU and Prime reading memberships only.

Now I maintain my books read and to-be-read on GoodReads, which I’ve resumed updating. This works out pretty well.

Check out my new bookshelf in the image above! As you can see there’s plenty of space in it and it’s only a matter of time before books are spilling out of it. �

Use this link to connect with me on GoodReads! I’d love to see what everyone else is reading.

reading

What I’ve Been Reading #WorldBooksDay

On the fabulous occasion of World Book Day I thought I’d share the names of the books I’m reading which is coincidentally the post I was working on next anyway!

I usually read 2 or 3 books at a time, two on Kindle and one print book. Usually I go for a mix of fiction and nonfiction. I try not to read fiction in the same genre that I’m writing, but anything by the master is always welcome.

The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty by Kavita Kane

I recently finished reading this book, my first by this author. Though I knew a lot of the story beforehand I enjoyed reading it and I plan to add more books of hers to my ever-burgeoning TBR pile.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Several readers in the readers group I’m a part of recommend this book. I picked it up and though I’m only a quarter of the way through, so far I find it a fascinating look at how our species came about.

The Four-hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

I had been curious about this one for some time and finally ordered the print version. I am not a great fan of self-help books in my adulthood, having consumed tons of them during adolescence. I’ve made good progress on this one and I’m halfway through now. It has thrown up some good ideas which I intend to try out in the near future.

Men without Women by Haruki Murukami

I needed a break from all the nonfiction I was reading so I chose this and of course I don’t regret it. His stories are inexplicably simple and well-written and thought-provoking at the same time.

What have you been reading lately?

Image by Gellinger on Pixabay

My Writing

New Year, New Look!

If you’re wondering why everything’s looking different, it’s because I changed the theme again! I hope it’s not too jarring a change but the theme really caught my eye and I changed it without even really meaning to. The last such transformation happened more than a year back so it was long overdue.

Do drop me a line with your thoughts on the new theme!

Writing

Ten Things I Love about being a Writer

Last week I wrote a post listing out all the things I hate about writing.

This time let’s look at the flip side. Here’s some of the things I love about it:

  1. It makes one feel alive
    Without writing I’d feel bored and bereft in life.
  2. Helps you learn new things about yourself and the world
    When you write something new, you invariably land up learning something new as well, even if you’re mining from your own life.
  3. It juggles the brain cells and makes you creative
    Monsieur Hercule Poirot would always let you know the importance of “ze little grey cells, mon ami!” and I’d agree with him.
  4. The sound and feel of a well written passage….
    …is just music to the ears!
  5. Keeps you on your toes
    Everyone knows walking or any kind of exercise only helps you improve your writing, so get on your feet and get moving!
  6. Makes you look smart!
    When you’ve written and published something, share the link with your friends and soak in the appreciation for your brilliance!
  7. Makes you empathetic
    Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you’re forced to think from a different perspective than yours which increases your empathy.
  8. Gives you newfound appreciation for books you read
    When you’ve toiled hours for a five-hundred-word piece and its still nowhere close to perfection, you realize the effort every writer makes, no matter whether their books become bestsellers or not.
  9. Connects you with smart people on the same wavelength
    Writing is usually done in isolation but when you seek out fellow writers, you come to know so many talented people who share the same interests as you.
  10. Allows you to free the mind and demons in the mind
    Writing is known to be cathartic, and though it may not work for everyone, it certainly helps relieve and work out the kinks in the brain.

I’m sure you could come up with a few more reasons why you love writing, but while this is my list, feel free to add your own in the comments!

Movies

Something’s different about you, Oscar!

Since my childhood it’s been a tradition for me to wake up early and watch the Oscars ceremony. When I was small, I found the entire thing spectacular – full of song and dance and comedy. I’m dating myself here but I remember recording the episodes on my little VHS tapes and then watching them over and over again later on.

As the viewership ratings show, the Oscars has declined in popularity these last few years. Even up until a few years back I’d stay riveted, glued to the screen from the moment the red carpet rolled out until the best picture was declared.

This year I had it on for background viewing while I got my daughter ready for school. Both the program and the eventual list of winners did not disappoint!

My favourite moments from the show:

Here are some of the stalwarts whose wins I was happy to witness:

Mahershala Ali for Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Though I haven’t seen any of his Oscar-winning or Oscar-nominated performances, I’ve been a huge fan of his since his House of Cards days. It struck even from that time that he was star material. I discovered only later about controversy surrounding the movie Green Book.

Olivia Colman for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Though she was one of the frontrunners too, I feel like her win over Glenn Close was a big upset. I love Glenn Close too – who can forget her performance in Fatal Attraction – but this one was very well-deserved.

Rami Malek for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Despite stellar performances by all the other nominees, this one was almost ‘in the bag’ from the day the nominations were announced. I finally caught Bohemian Rhapsody on Tata Sky Showcase the other day, and it lived up to the expectations.

I did not make any predictions, but this piece of satire accurately reflects what I would have said.

Did you watch the Oscars this year? What were your favourite parts of the show?

My Writing, Writing

Ten Things I Hate About Being a Writer

Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, especially now, despite all the gazillion rejections streaming in on a daily basis. I am finally enjoying the process, rather than indulging in the thrills of “having written.”

However there are quite a few things I don’t like about being a writer:

  1. So much to write, so little time

This is not the fault of writing of course, but it does demand intense concentration and time. The creative gene inspires ideas but the world doesn’t grant us the time to write all of them. It also takes away time from socializing in the real word – I’ve skipped many a weekend party in favour of writing.

  1. Sometimes, the words just don’t come

After stealing all that time, when I sit down to write, the words that bombard my brain at all the wrong times retreat into a shell and need immense coaxing to draw them out.

  1. When the words come, they’re crap

The first draft of everything is crap. It may improve with practice but sometimes it’s so bad it’s better to scrap it all and start again.

  1. When we send our stuff out we get rejections

In more than five years of writing and submitting, I can count only a handful of times that a piece I sent out was accepted by the first place I sent it to. My story that won 2nd place in the On The Premises contest last year is a good example of this.

  1. When we don’t send stuff out we’re not moving forward

The fear of rejection and submitting makes us hold on to our creative efforts, but without sending it out we’re not really taking ourselves to the next level

  1. We have to believe we’re the best in order to succeed

Writers need supreme confidence in themselves and their work so they can pitch agents and publishers and plough through despite all the rejections

  1. We have to accept we’re not the best so that we can improve in order to succeed

Writers also need to turn a critical eye on themselves so they can humbly accept feedback and revise their work to near-perfection

  1. Stuff that looks perfect today looks crap the next day

The final draft is never final and even after time and distance away from it when I see it next I feel its way below par.

  1. The right word lies on the tip of the tongue and rarely ever comes out

The struggle to find the word that exactly matches what you’re thinking of is perpetual. A thesaurus makes it easier but not always.

  1. Looks easy but is very tough to do

This is the biggest problem with writing – the easiest writing that looks the most effortless is actually the hardest to do.

How do you feel about writing these days? Anything you can add to the above list? W