Monday, April 27, 2020

Searching For Relevance

I have strived to be 'relevant' my whole life!

This realisation hit me recently when I was adding books to my Goodreads "Read" list. I came across a vlog/ blog where this person had suggested that having a 'Goodreads' list is a great motivator to read more. I had a Goodreads account already which I primarily use to read reviews of the books I want to read. I thought their suggestion made sense. I started recollecting the books I've read through my life so far and added them to Goodreads. Suddenly, I realised that I have way too many classics on my list!

It was never deliberate. My mom introduced me to them. I remember the first time I ever read them. In fact, I have written about this multiple times in the past. The first book I read in my life was this English translation of "The Count of Monte Christo" by Alexander Dumas which I found on one of my uncles' bookshelf. The more books my mom got me, the more I fell in love with them. Eventually, all the kids in my class would discuss Nancy Drew and 'Sidney Sheldon'- while all I knew was Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters!

I then realised that I must start reading books that can help me have a decent conversation with kids my age. I started reading Enid Blyton, Harry Potter books (which I fell in love with)- and kept reading more relevant books. I did find a few good book-loving friends through my undergrad days. Some of them were familiar with the works of one of my favourite author Alister MacLean even!

If I ever manage to write an autobiography, I think I would have "Chapters" or "Phases" in it named after authors. After my classics phase, I had an 'Ayn Rand' phase. Then a 'Sylvia Plath' phase which thankfully got transformed and I entered into the 'Paulo Coelho' phase and so on…
Mythologies to pseudo-mythologies. Sci-Fi and Fantasies. I kept reading and strived hard to stay relevant.

These days, I just read. I have stopped trying to be relevant. I like reading. And I like reading the books I like reading. I have realised that- relevance, doesn't matter…


Harish Suryanarayana said...

Hello! It has been forever but it is never too late to reconnect. I also fondly remember reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" as a child - discovered in much the same way in some old cardboard box during summer holidays. But I also read a lot of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Sidney Sheldon. I was particularly surprised when a few days ago, as I was cleaning my place, I found an old Sidney Sheldon novel - I couldn't get past the first few pages, where the main protagonist (a career oriented budding lawyer) is quite sure that the handsome mafia boss cannot be guilty because of his dashing good looks and that his skinny scheming underling (who is not so good looking) is up to no good. Such ridiculousness. I remember enjoying the book as a kid! God knows what influence these books had on me.

Matangi Mawley said...

Hey!! Sidney Sheldon! :) I remember, in school- I was probably the only person in class who had never read a single Sidney Sheldon book. When other kids would discuss books, I would talk about, say, The Count of Monte Christo! For some reason, it didn't seem like a real book to those kids. Finally, I ended up reading a bunch of Sidney Sheldon books, just to 'fit in'!