To Read or Not to Read?

Reading, an activity which somehow acts as meditation, if you are really into it. Books give you not only knowledge, they also give you a sense of imagination. Every page, every event, every scene plays right in front of your eyes. You are sitting, reclined in the environment described in the novel and the characters are felt standing right next to you, talking to each other, fighting a monster or flying through the skies. The feeling of a book in your hand (and I am talking about proper paperback books with printed pages, not e-books), the smell of the pages, combined with the cup of coffee in your hand, gives you the serene and quiet moment of your life that no other daily activity can give.

Books require patience. They require your time, just like any other companion. But sometimes, this patience wears off. We start looking for other things because having a book in our hand doesn’t feel the same anymore. This feeling of detaching oneself from the joy of reading is called Reader’s Block. It happens to any and every reader around us. Here I recount the story of my Reader’s Block and how I overcame it.

There have been many instances when I have gone through this phase but the most prominent one was when I was working. I got a job in a reputed company, but got posted in one of the remotest locations of India. A new place with new people, where everyone spoke the local language, thus, making it sufficiently hard for me to converse or make friends. As a result, I became a professional loner, glued to his job and not going out anywhere, as there was nowhere to go and no one to go out with. So, I resorted to reading, but it didn’t work out well.

You see, when we read, although it gives us a sense of peace and quiet, but for attaining that, initially we require a bit of peace and quiet so we can actually concentrate. That was one area where I was unlucky, constantly surrounded by people who liked to shriek and shout on the top of their voices and make themselves heard to even those who didn’t want to hear them. As a result, over a period of a month, I got detached with reading. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t feel anything, but mostly, I felt out of place which had its toll on my favorite hobby.

One day, while killing time, I came across ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King. After reading the reviews and other articles on the author, I decided to come out of my block and read it. As I turned the pages one by one, the long lost reader in me came back and I couldn’t put the book down. And that is not all. Today, after two long years since I read that book, I have become an ardent fan of the author. After ‘Carrie’, I continued with his other works like ‘Cujo’, ‘Pet Sematary’ and ‘Dreamcatcher’, to name a few. Currently, I am reading ‘The Dark Tower’ series and have developed an aim to finish all his works.

A reader’s block is a phase all readers go through. But it takes one good book to make us come out of it and once again delve into the enormous world of imagination that books provide us. Of course, the definition of a ‘good book’ depends on the reader.


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