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Vinn En Route

My Journey Being a Reader

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Hello, I’m back from blog hibernation. So what’s up? Well, I was recently featured as a guest from Merrative, a community of avid readers and writers on their live session about being a reader. So, here are some of the highlights and my introspection to My Journey Being a Reader.

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When it all began….

Started during my teenage years; Sweet Valley High, Sweet dreams, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike. Romance and mystery thrillers are my early reads. I remember saving my allowance and head to the bookstore once a month. Well, there isn’t much material craze during that time. We also do book swaps with my classmates. If it’s a hot book, opps there’s a queue. Meanwhile, I frequented the library and my card was filled with Nancy Drew list.

I’m not a book worm..

Evolution of My Readings

I barely notice that my journey being a reader is evolving. During my senior year, I am reading adult romances, a classmate of mine has a gazillion collections from her sister – Mills and Boons, Harlequin Romance, and Loveswept! It is such a crime reading them, whilst studying in an all-girls Catholic School. In one of my breaks, a nun passed by while reading is in progress of a sensual romance. What a swift reflex of mine, the book ended from a trajectory beyond her gaze!

I think my teachers have no idea, of my book genres then….

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All I know, reading is just a hobby.

I was out and about during UNI days and only a few occasions I read. Yet, I remember I fancied espionage plots of Robert Ludloom, some Stephen King, Dan Brown, and devoured vampire books of Anne Rice.

Am I weird?

Moving on, got bitten with the so-called travel bug; my readings shifted to the historical fiction and non-fiction of the places I dream to visit, Thessaloniki, Crete, Barcelona, Africa, and Israel. For the love of travel, it has definitely molded my journey to being a reader.

Checking bookstores is also a part of my itinerary when traveling. Or I spend time in airport book shops, WH Smith, sounds familiar?

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Vinn’s Top Reads

Part of the live session is to share my top reads. This is not an easy task and after pondering, here they are!

The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup

” In life, you get what you negotiated, not what you deserved.”

A story about Sapna, the family’s breadwinner with big dreams. One day, during her break, a rich man offered her to become the CEO of his company but she has to pass seven tests.

Practical, relatable, humorous, and value-based book, your textbook for life. The very first Indian author book I read, and lead me to other Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat’s entertaining and easy reads. Try to explore these books!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“Zendagi Migzara” – Life goes on!

“For you a thousand times, over.”

Set in Afghanistan with its caste system, a tale about father and son relationship, friendship, and betrayal. Most of the readers agree that Hosseini’s books will expand your horizons. For me, this is one of the tearjerker stories, and if you find the chance to watch the movie, do so.

Other good reads of Hosseini are A Thousand Splendid Suns and When the Mountains Echoed.

Because of this read, I learned about Afghan culture and I found a story about women in Kabul, The Little Coffeeshop in Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez.

The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Set in Istanbul, a story of a man, suffering from heartache, to a woman whom he dearly loves. The thoughts of a man in anger, frustration, remorse, and humiliation, and he developed an obsession with collecting things that reminds him of her. Thus, the Museum of Innocence is an existing museum that contains these memorabilia.

Is this about the life story of the author? No one knows…

This novel dives into the emotions of a man, which isn’t talked about much. We know how a woman suffers in love, this time the coin is flipped.

Other books of Pamuk are Snow and My Name is Red.

The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

A story about a ghost town here in Varosha, Famagusta in Cyprus, the tourist haven in the early 70’s, fine sand and sparkling blue waters. By 1974, following the Turkish occupation, the island was divided. Since then, Varosha remained untouched and shut off from the world.

The novel is a story of two families – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, before, during, and after the invasion. A story about relationships and effects of war.

I visited this place and I never felt so moved to be in the exact setting of the novel. Surrounded by derelict buildings no longer the vibrant atmosphere it once had.

Have you been to a place from your readings?

Further Reading: A Fascinating Trip to Kyrenia and Famagusta; What’s out there – Northern Cyprus?

Check out Hislop’s The Thread (Thessaloniki, Greece), The Island (Crete, Greece) and The Return (Granada, Spain)

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon

A mystery thriller set in Barcelona in the early 19th century. Daniel picks a book from the Cemetery of Forgotten books, only his father, and the keeper knows about this. Curiosity lead to his exploration of the book’s author along with the Gothic mysteries he will soon find out. This book pulls me page by page.

The Prisoner of Heaven is the first book that lead me to Zafon’s works, with a story related to the Shadow of the Wind, Angel’s Games and my current read, Labyrinth of the Spirits. Yes you can say, I’m a Zafon fan.

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What Else to Explore?

A lot!

A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz about Israel opened another path to my next reads – Israel’s history, literature of Jabotinsky and Tchernichovsky, and other Jewish authors. Also, the exploration of non-fiction reads. It can be any genre!

Book Reviews

I’m pondering whether to add book reviews in this blog. But for now you can find me in merrative community since I prefer discussions in various topics. You can expect my book reviews on how it affects me as a reader or why I love reading the book not in the context of literature structure or thorough analysis of the plot.

From now on, I will be sharing my love of books and looking forward to where this journey takes me. A long road out there full of surprises!

I think I am a bookworm….Yay!

How many books have I read to date?

I think I have underestimated my answer: more than 50, close to a hundred. Too conservative right? What’s your guess?

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Some Advice

Keep on reading and grow. Expand your knowledge. For those who haven’t read for a long time, just pick up a book or visit your bookstore.

Don’t you love the scent of the pages of the book? I do! It’s therapeutic.

There you go, my journey being a reader! How about you, what’s your story?

Your thoughts, let’s hear them!

Feel free to post your top book recommendations too!

P.S. Live session of my journey as a reader can be accessed at Merrative’s Instagram and be a part of the community.

Don’t forget to follow me at flipboard!

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38 Comments

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Great post, I love your reading journey! I love reading but when life is busy I put it off and find it hard to get into good reads- since finishing Uni I’ve slowly started picking up my reading habits, thanks for sharing this x

Awesome. I love Paul Theroux. I think he is the best travel writer there is, and I don’t even think it is close. The last train to zona verde is sublime. Dark star safari is like a work of fiction in its equisite and insightful way of words. His ghost train to the eastern star opened my eyes to how good travel writing could be.

Keep reading, keep sharing, keep growing.

Thanks.

Yay! Thanks for Theroux’s review of his other books. I will definitely look for Dark Star Safari! With the Last Train of Zona Verde, it made me feel that I’m also on a journey with him. Remarkable!

I really like this idea for a post, and I always find it really interesting to see people’s top book recommendations πŸ™‚ I wish I was more passionate about reading, I tend to just stick to reading on vacations but I think it’s time to broaden my horizons haha

Hi, Thanks for reading! I think the time will come when you start being passionate about books. Also sometimes reading is having the mood for it. There are times I skip reading and do something else. And when I do, I totally immerse from it. If you find some good reads, feel free to drop by and share the details!

I did read several vampire books before! But I think you are reading more academic references. That is why your articles are so informative.

Hello Kimberly! Please don’t be ashamed as there are so many books in this world. Sometimes I am surprised by the books shared by other readers and I say to myself, why I haven’t heard of them! Hope you’ll find and love reading my recommendations. And I will happy to hear about your favorite books!

Great post! I actually only became an avid reader when Twilight came out (at least something good came out of it).

All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

These look like some good reads πŸ™‚ I’m personally in an “on and off” relationship with books. Now the period is a bit off.

RL Stine was a staple of my early reading and childhood chapter books. Mystery books were my favorite. Along with this another classic was The Baby-sitters club series. This brings back so many memories.

To this day I really love reading.

xo Erica

Wow Erica, glad that you like RL Stine too! Though I’m not sure if I have come across The Baby sitters Club. I will check it out, I’m curious. Thanks for sharing your early reads. πŸ˜‰

We have such a similar book journey! The beginning was filled with days of Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High but it was getting a new Nancy Drew that made me the happiest girl in the world, truly. I’ve read a great deal this year and like you have even considered integrating my book reflections on the blog, but it may be an over-ambitious plan at the moment! Both Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns are on sitting on my increasingly growing book list – need to get to them!

Hi Simone, thanks for sharing your reading journey. About incorporating book reviews in your blog, why not? With our blog, we can take it to another course! Or in the meantime, you may access merrative.com and feel free to leave your book reviews or articles and open them for discussion. Cheers! πŸ˜‰

It’s great that you have such a love of reading, I have the same hobby. I absolutely love books so I can totally relate to this post πŸ™‚
And some great titles there, it’s always nice to discover new favourites in the literary world. Great post!

Anika | chaptersofmay.com

Thank you Annika! I’m also discovering a lot of books from your blog. Love them! Hopefully, I will be able to pick them up by next year. I still have several books in queue. Happy reading!

That’s cool reads for a start! I also remember borrowing hardbound books from my cousin, similar to encyclopedia but not so thick. They were informative books about animals and music. Thanks for dropping by πŸ˜‰

I’ve had a real lull in my reading. I usually read a lot and enjoy setting aside time to do it but for a while now that’s had to be pushed aside. I’m looking forward to getting back to it though and this post has really made me want to get a jump on it!

Hi Molly! Yes, I feel you, especially these days there are so many things to do. I find myself reading slowly for the past years. This year I have a goal of 1 book per month, but sometimes I need more time to finish a book. You will have some time soon. Happy Reading! πŸ˜‰

My husband is a huge Orhan Pamuk fan and I’m a huge Carloz Zafon fan so we’re in good company! And I’ve heard good things about The Sunrise so I’ll be adding it to my wishlist. I know what you mean about historical fiction and visiting the places that books are set. It’s something I love doing when I can, I almost feel as if the books’ personas are with me when I do it. Great picks, Vinn!

Oh my, this is so cool! Happy to know we love similar books. Victoria Hislop’s books are good reads especially if you want a Mediterranean setting. Thanks Lisa! πŸ˜‰

I haven’t read any of the books you have mentioned but the Shadow of the Wind looks interesting. I don’t know how many books I have read but I love reading so probably a lot lol.

Oh my, there are countless books and authors, from book reviews I am always discovering new reads. If you like mystery thrillers with historical fiction of Barcelona, you will enjoy Shadow of the Wind! πŸ˜‰

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