Sunday, March 18, 2012
I used to be a books browser once upon a time – picking up and reading books at random. But as time progressed, I figured that all that serendipity was not really leading anywhere and I changed the way I purchase books. Instead of my own serendipity, I depend on the serendipity of others. Second, I joined a library to explore my serendipity.
The first part first. Instead of browsing through books and reading a bit to pick up a book, I ask my friends for recommendations. Secondly, there are recommendations at work coming in as well. And then there is the internet - and quite a few very good blogs out there. I use a combination of these to zero in on what I want to buy and order it online. My thought on this is that mostly the good books find their way to the top of this pile. Triangulating between these three streams of choice gives me a good reading list to pick from.
The second part – why buy books which I don’t enjoy reading? Why read books which I wont finish and just skim through? And why not preserve and buy those books into my collection – which I would really like to read? And there is my use of the library - of which many new business models have sprung up in Bangalore - which is nice. I have signed up with one of them. And through them, I have browsed through books which I would not invest money in otherwise. (Of course, books are an investment, except that the returns are in kind, not cash.) But the best part of the library has been that it has made me add a lot of books to my collection. Some those serendipitous reads become interesting and then I find a need to add them to my collection – as a book I would like to go back and refer and I build a far more robust collection of books. Something that I will keep going back to again and again.