I love cafes and bookshops, and i frequent them the most in my non work time. I have been reading since my memory started to accumulate images. Just drink expresso and read on a weekend, is nothing better than that. What we read, speaks a lot about oneself. Books of the era are a snapshot of the societal dynamics. What is selling on Amazon, Flipkart or your neighborhood Crossword store is reflective of the reigning mindset intellectually.
I started reading or flipping through my parents grad school textbooks in economics, management and literature/linguistics since primary school. Even though i did not understand a word of it. My parents would have 5 newspapers delivered to our residence everyday and subscribe to a ton load of current affairs-policy centric magazines in the pre computer-internet era even if we were not all that financially comfortable. This reading intensive upbringing shaped my world view to what i am now; an engineer and a sociologist . Reading has helped me to visualize lives that i cannot lead or cannot experience. Life is a span of time, hence finite. Peter Drucker, the Management Guru studied a new academic domain every three years. Robin Sharma says that if one needs to double its income, we need to triple our learning.
During my pre teens, i had read more history and politics than an average kid should have and concentrated far less on his grades than a school kid should. I was a major history buff and had dreamed of being a Ram Guha or a Niall Ferguson rather than a technical consultant that i am currently. I discovered the utilitarian value of science during high school.
During High School, i delved in to the self help genre which really transformed my thought processes. I graduated to dedicated reading of popular economics and management genre of books along with a healthy dollop of policy matters through out my undergrad.
I dreamt of attending Business School then, but fate would have veering towards the sustainability domain. Through my engineering grad school, i read public policy and business in my free time mostly concentrating on Social Innovation. I was active in the Social Innovation rubric in Singapore. My Grad School degree in Sociology introduced me by accident to a whole new world of the liberal arts. Social Theory, and in general the qualitative social sciences remolded my thinking, for the better. Although I dropped out of my degree after my coursework phase was done with, this period has left an indelible mark on my life.
Now I mainly read Foreign Policy/Geo Politics/ Public Affairs in my non work time. I am also exploring Post Colonial Literature as an alternative historical narrative. Reading is therapeutic, but writing is meditative. The choice of books we choose to read, tell a lot about who we are.