When I started receiving review copies, I must admit, I was overwhelmed initially. I was like ‘Whoa! I am getting free books to read all the time!’ But let me tell you, it is a vicious circle [atleast it was for me]. Allow me to explain why. In January this year, I emptied both my bookshelves into one of the balconies for the much-needed airing. [Before the baby arrived, it used to be one of my favourite activities.] That whole week, I spent a lot of time with my books – categorizing them, removing the stuff that I had read and would never read again, putting the rest back on the shelves [surprisingly despite removing more than 100 books, the shelves are still overflowing].
|Not the Sunday secondhand book market;|
just a view of my balcony
When I was going through my books, I realized what an amazing collection I had; and many of those books have been with me for a couple of years now. In reading review copies, I could not make time for my own collection. I must also confess that while I was reading review copies, I never stopped buying books.
To give you a perspective, I read 49 books in 2013. Out of those 49 books, 33 were review copies. And the truth be told, I would not have read many of those 33 books, if they had not landed at my place for review. When you get a lot of review copies, you feel compelled to review at least a few. Many times those books are not according to your taste, so you come out not liking the book; and the whole experience is unsatisfactory. When I review, I attempt to articulate what I liked about the book and what I did not like, because eventually, every person has an individual taste. For example, I love Sophie Kinsella's books and yet I don’t generally like to read chicklit. But I don’t miss her books because I have so much fun while reading them.
Anyways, I decided at the beginning of this year, I would stop taking any more review copies for some time. First of all, I need to review the books which I have read but never got around to reviewing. Secondly, I still have several review copies which I want to read and review. And the third aspect is my own collection, which I certainly want to read pretty soon.
Apart from that, I would like to start reviewing children’s books also. I have discovered this whole new genre after having baby. Since I am a passionate reader, I am doing everything to ensure that my son grows up to be one too. Reading is part of our daily routine. I never imagined I would enjoy children’s books so much. The biggest revelation is that they appeal as much to the grownups as much they do to the kids. There is a huge collection of interesting and attractive books for every age-group now. One can choose books from Indian publishers as well as foreign. Just take Alphabets for example; the variety of books available on just Alphabets is unimaginable. There is Alphablock, ABC3D, Eric Carle’s ABC, Eating the Alphabet, The Sleepy Little Alphabet, Alphabeep, Alphabet City; and I can go on and on.
Trust me, hunting for suitable and interesting books for the little one [and for myself] is one of my favourite pastimes. I can do that for hours. Our kiddie books’ collection is growing day-by-day and I enjoy them as much as my little one does. I have mentioned a few favourites here and here. Watch out for more reviews soon.
Another thing I wanted to bring up is that when I was in the process of sorting my books, I was also reading about minimalistic lifestyle. I would like to just say that finally I was convinced that I need not keep every single book that I purchase. I must let go to make space for new. So, believe it or not, I cleared over 100 books from my home. But I haven't given up on my dream of a home library or reading nook. It will take a couple of months for sure because right now [actually since January 2014], I have been de-cluttering my home bit-by-bit.
Did I tell you, I have started reading e-books? And frankly, they are not that bad. I have read just 2 books so far but I had a decent experience. Moreover, e-books align well with my new mantra of minimalism.
That’s all from me at the moment.