Books for life: Celebrating #IAD

 

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Writing is not everyone’s cup o’tea, but reading is, or at least it must be. It’s not onerous to read – a book, a magazine, an article, a paragraph, or even a single sentence. Reading is a habit that will take you places, through magical universes and realms you have longed to visit, through the past and future while you read them in present. “I have been an avid reader” – I bet many of us must have begun their #IAD blog posts with this claim and they are very well so. Debdatta of b00kr3vi3ws has been extremely prudent in conceiving the idea for International Authors’ Day and a blog hop. We’ll write all about books, reading, writing and more – for you.

Few favourites.

Few favourites.

I can’t recall how long I’ve been reading, but it has been nearly three decades. And now when I introspect, I haven’t even read a sensible portion of everything I ever want to read. My parents had been kind enough to hand me books along with food from a very tender age. The rhyme and picture books have slowly graduated to fairy tales, mostly translated in Bangla/English from Russian and Ukranian folk takes. I’ve been lucky enough to scourge through those books in the Kolkata International Book Fair for a few years and enhance my collection. Shelves started spilling books and my father had to find me a study desk with bookshelves beneath. As my trips to the Book Fair increased each year, the bookshelf started shrinking. Innumerable Bangla and English books spilled over to my bed, the dining table (except for lunch and dinner times), the television stand, a piece or two inside the almirah, on the fridge top, and even inside my school bag.

I couldn’t buy every book I wanted, as I have been taught to respect and judge the value of money. I used to wait for gift cheques and solid cash from my grandmother(s) on birthdays/Durga Puja/Saraswati Puja/Poila Boishakh (Bangla New Year). My first Tintin (in Tibet) was courtesy maternal grandmother and I still cherish the copy for a handwritten note from her. I would demand for books rather than dresses on each occasion and it certainly made my relatives wonder if I were feminine enough. My father wasn’t worried, he built huge book-almirah with four shelves for me. For us.

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First Reads Challenge 2014

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws.in

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws.in

I had participated in the Indian Quills Reading Challenge 2013 without giving it much of a thought. In fact, I had set a very modest target for myself as I knew I’m a slow reader. And, I didn’t review every book I read. With all the writing and editing targets to be fulfilled, reading debut authors had become cumbersome throughout the year. Most of them came to me for reviews, I approached some of them out of my own interest in their books, others were won by me in contests/giveaways. These books have clambered for space in my cramped up old bookshelf. I had no idea a year ago that I would be reviewing books and reading such a huge number of authors for the first time.

In the wee hours of December, I think I’m ready for the next challenge. DDS of b00kr3vi3ws has come up with her next edition of First Reads Challenge for 2014. I hadn’t participated last year as I wasn’t sure about reading too many Indian debut authors. This time I’m geared with review requests and scourging new authors for interesting books. DDS has set challenge levels which makes it all the more challenging. I know I’m nowhere near the biggies of book reviews, so I’d again set a minimal target for 2014.

Challenge Level:
Amateur : Choose to read 1 – 25 New Authors
Lover     : Choose to read 26 – 50 New Authors
Expert    : Choose to read 51 – 75 New Authors
Fanatic   : Choose to read 76 or above New Authors

I’m happy with being Amateur for now, though I might upgrade the level if there’s any chance in mid-2014.

If you like to read and review, join us in this journey of reading authors for the first time and writing about their work.