When I used to work in public relations (a corporate job that I recently quit, to live abroad and write) I never seemed to have time to read. 9am to 7pm-high stress job, 2-hours in traffic, need to go out and socialize, come home dead and ready for bed. Besides, I read a plethora of stuff online everyday, who has the time to read books anymore? Yes, another excuse.
Although I knew I could, I did not want to relate to the – ‘you need to make’ time line that my conscious would keep whispering in my ear. Only later did I realize, it had nothing to do with not having the time, but rather with the sort of books I was choosing to read.
As someone who reads five books at a time, I have normally bought books either off the best-seller rack (even if I did not enjoy the book summary at the back) or pure instinct (disastrous). So subconsciously, the thought of coming home after a long day and reading any one of those books was not happening, and perhaps disguised in the excuse of not having the time.
Moral of the story: find a book that jerks your senses and all your excuses for not reading will be thrown out of the window; and as in my case, perhaps change your life.
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Unfortunatley, I do not have a formula for how to choose the right book. However, here are the books I have read lately that have not only changed the way I decide what books to read, but that have also inadvertently nurtured my writing gene. So incase you are budding writer (which I assume you are if you are reading this website), and in between the million things you have to do everyday, if you are having trouble finding time to read, try getting hold of these books.
Vagabonding:An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts. If this book doesn’t get you to plan your next trip and write, nothing will.
Sun After Dark: Flights into the Foreign, by Pico Iyer. It is rare to find travel writing with depth that inspires, guides, and is very personal at the same time.
Tales From Nowhere: Unexpected Stories From Unexpected Places, the Lonely Planet’s 2006 anthology of 31 stories written by some of the world’s best travel writers, and edited by Don George.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott. This is a book that talks about every single emotion writers feel, in a hilarious manner. The author really inspires you to reach down deep and turn yourself inside-out when you write.
In a nutshell, they are books with a purpose that will make sure you have time to read.