Thursday, April 14, 2016


I love to read, it brings me the pleasure and upliftment that I cannot express in words. To articulate it in the terms of literary work I would say:

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I like reading for many reasons and one of it is being "teleported" to another world and time. To read the written words of some men and women that I could never possibly have come across due to constraints of unidirectional time. I can never go back in time to have a conversation with Kurt Vonnegut or can I? Well, theoretically I can! But, since time travel is not a thing, yet. The constraint according to the current understanding of physics is,  I can only travel back to the time when the time machine would be invented and not before that... that's another topic for another blog. Also, we haven't yet figured out how tenses would work in the era of time-travel so if we get to travel in time, literature would also need to be upgraded in order to incorporate a more clear understanding of the "directional" time.

The Need of Literature
Writing and Reading are the fundamental labels of civilization. It was a product of the desire to use words to communicate complicated ideas amongst people. Reading is about compassion, it is an act when we imagine; what it would be like to be someone else in a certain situation. It is not easy to express what one is feeling through words. However, reading could give us the tools to express and write what we precisely want to convey. It is a kind of an iteration process, the more we read the more we know about other people's feeling and about our own.

Experience and Empathy
The beauty of literature is that it gives one a way to gain an understanding of complex ideas and emotions. The emotions and feelings that may have taken decays if were left alone to be understood via experience. Reading can take us to infinite kind situations such as famine, war, murder, romance, and breakups. Some situations that we may not experience in life directly. With the access to reading, we can experience. That in turn, helps us gaining a sense of empathy towards friends and family in a similar situation. 

The Consequences of Actions
Literature makes one empathetic by making us see the consequences of actions in the long run, over a shorter time span.  One can read a "coming out of age" novel and understand how certain small things can form a whole identity/personality trait. It shows us the bigger picture of rather smaller actions. It makes one see others as people, who are capable of similar feeling and emotions as ourselves. Thus makes us kinder and sympathetic about what they are going through. 

My Reading Habits
I was hooked on to reading by Nacy Drew and Harry Potter. It has been an amazing experience so far. I had no one to guide me through the books that I should read. So I kind of improvised and today I am at a place where I know what kind of literature I will enjoy reading. However, Picking a favorite book or genre is always perplexing. It is pretty much like picking up your favorite child. I often answer that question with "one of" my favorite books. But, you see it is not that easy.

The Dilemma of Genre 
In the recent past, there has been a heated debate that Young Adult (YA) genre in literature is... umm, How do I put it.. "not good enough". That debate bashes the adults reading YA genre. I think that YA  is intended for teens and has many topics revolving around the life of teens (and people in their early 20s). But, if as an adult one is exclusively reading the contemporary YA it is not such a good option. There is no problem with reading YA but the exclusivity of it is akin to looking at just one side or section of literature. I would suggest mixing it up a little with some classics. 

That said, I often find Young Adult genre engaging and pleasurable. It is often designed to introduce and engage people in literature. There are numbers of contemporary YA fiction that are really good, such as Hunger Games. But some are terrible like that Vampire Stories. However, I find many YA books off-putting for reasons such as:
Romanticization of unhealthy relationships

Dumbing Down assuming the readers to be lowbrowed, thus using easy vocab.
Not being intellectually stimulating
Slut shaming 
The portray of the same personalities of the protagonist 
Unrealistic representation of Teenagers ...

This month I have been a little picky to read as I couldn't find any book stimulating or engaging enough. However, I think it is a matter of time. I will find a good book or may regain interest in the pile of half-read abandoned books. Let me know what you like reading and what is your take on literature. 

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  1. The books that I have read have left an impression on me for sure.
    I remember my first book was the one we "literally" read together.
    The golden pot by Satyajit Ray

    1. Oh yes! I remember, it was such a good reading experience and a wonderful night.
      We had a great time reading it, not just for the book but the way we "literally" read it together. :)

  2. You have expressed this very well. The ability to read is one of humanity's greatest gifts.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks! Indeed, it is.
      Glad you stopped by.

  3. Hey Karnika, this was beautifully put. Girl you truly have the gift of words! Very true what you say about the YA genre, sometimes one feels is absolutely dumbing down things or too fantastic! Ahhh, don't I long to read another part of the Harry Potter series!! I am nowhere near being a YA or Teen Or Kid, but these are the genres I read on a break from a stressful day. How much I like a book depends on my frame of mind at the time I'm reading it.
    Loved this poignant post!
    @KalaRavi16 from

    1. Thanks! I am happy to know you liked the post. Agree, YA is probably the widest genre, that is readily available. I enjoy reading it time to time. Yes frame of mind totally plays a role in how good one finds a book to be, it is the same with me.