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Harper 21- An Exciting Experiment by Harper Collins

Finally I saw the news I was waiting for sometime, Harper Collins the second largest English language publisher in the country has started an interesting experiment with the name “Harper 21” (I think they also completed 21 years hence the name). See the complete report here.

I got to know a little about Harper 21 through V.K. Karthika the publisher of Harper Collins India on the sidelines of Pune International Literary Festival (PILF). This is their foray into the e-book imprint and probably their little experiment in testing out if this does alter the reading habits of the readers and they ‘graduate’ to a better writings.

In short, Harper 21 available through amazon India is kindle version of e-books which will cost INR 21 only and will be less than 20 pages and will feature a range of genres from poetry to stories to graphic novels, sports, cinema etc. These e-books can be downloaded on Kindle device or Kindle software.

I am pretty excited about this experiment because I believe (and those who follow me know my take) that new-gen Indian writers are mostly writing trash and the population at large is exposed to sub-standard literature. One of the reasons why the so called ‘commercial fiction‘ books are doing well is probably the low cost and their sleek size.

So with Harper 21 both the issues are getting addressed and people will get to read quality writings and literature. And this initiative coming from Harper Collins makes it all the more exciting and has high chances of succeeding.

Now I do understand that this is an experiment by Harper Collins and may or may not work but I am happy that they are trying that and other publishing houses should follow suit so that the quality of reading can improve in our country.

I think much of the success of this experiment will depend upon how easily and on how many devices these e-books can be made available and what type of books are offered to the young adults who are always on the go.

Do checkout Harper 21 and I strongly suggest you buy a few books and try them out.

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the book this week is Marry Go Round

So after finishing off with the last painful book for which I have seen some good/biased discussion on & off the blog I have moved on to the next book in my queue and hoping this will alleviate some pain.

The book that I am starting this week is Marry Go Round: 1
by Sadiqa Peerbhoy, this is a LeadStart Corp publication book.

Now once again never heard about the book, never heard of the author and again she is a first time author but looking at her profile she seems to have written a lot earlier as she is a Journalist.

The cover of the book seems intriguing and once again I hope the book turns out good as I didn’t have many good experiences with first time Indian authors of this genre.

Aiming to finish it by this weekend, I hope my work schedule doesn’t conflict. Hope you guys are also reading some good stuff. Will be back with its review. Till then, Happy Reading.

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the book this week is Wise Enough to be Foolish

The book that I am pouring into this week is Wise Enough to be Foolish
by Gauri Jayaram. Now I don’t know the author at all and didn’t know about the book as well but there is something special about the book.

This is the first book that I am reading on Kindle Cloud reader for Android. I have read a few books on e-reader but never on a smartphone, so this one is a first.

I like e-books, the e-readers and I’m even comfortable reading on a laptop but yea having a book in your hand, turning the physical pages, smelling it, playing with it, is a different kind of high. Is there a future for physical books? That’s a different question for another day, for now I am just happy enjoying the books in any manner.

I am already half way and the book reads easy, will be back with you guys with the review pretty soon.

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When you want to read but can’t…

Sometime back I was looking at a question at Quora which at a first glance will look naive or even foolish to some but then if you stop and re-read it then it will really make you think.

The question that was posted was “Why do people who love reading, love it so much?”. Now if you are an avid reader I am sure a smile must have curl up on your face. And the question as I mentioned earlier might even seem a bit stupid to you, because it’s pretty hard for a reader to explain why he/she loves reading so much.

So last month (for more than a month I think) when things were moving fast on many ends, personal as well as professional, it became difficult for me to continue with my reading habit. One book a week or even one in two weeks also couldn’t be possible. Every now and then I would think, today I would find some time to read and by the night when I hit the bed it became so difficult to keep my eyes open and read a book.

I am sure every now and then there is such a time in every reader’s life when even though they want to read pretty bad, they can’t. For me after a while I even start feeling guilty of not being able to read and wanted to get back as soon as possible. Every now and then when I take a look at my bookshelf (and in this while I had the maximum number of unread books on shelf ever) I would cringe. When will I be able to read these books, when will I get to new books and so on.

For a reader I guess it becomes sort of addiction. If he doesn’t get his daily/weekly dose of reading then it appears that something is not right, the craving gets the better of you.

The smell of fresh prints, the news of new book launches, the interview of your famous authors, the sight of books in other person’s hand, the discussion about a book in a group, all of this make it so difficult (also feeling of guilt in my case) for the reader to remain away from books. And the first chance that the readers gets they want to pick up a book and find a secluded corner and just READ.

What do you think readers, does it happen to you as well ?

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Week 38: the book this week is The Casual Vacancy

Week 38 – I am happy that after 38 weeks I am still able to go on with my commitment of 52 books. Although a few books shorter then the weeks, I’m positive as and when I get a chance I will be able to bridge that gap.

Winter is a season when all you want is a cup of hot tea or coffee in the bed and having a good book to read. The world looks so pretty that way. Isn’t it?

In this part of the world the winters are not that bad, nevertheless whatever winter we get, I try to enjoy a few cold mornings in the bed with a book and for the next few winter mornings (and evenings) the book that I have in hand is one which I wanted to read since it was released a few months back.

The book this week is “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. 

Oh yes the same J.K. Rowling who brought us the great Harry Potter series. This is her first adult novel.

Now as I have read all the HP series books before I started with the 52 books challenge so haven’t been able to ever write about the series itself or the author. May be a few lines are mandatory for the great author:

It was not until the second book of HP series (i.e. Chamber of Secrets) that I have heard of HP or J.K. Rowling. One of my colleague told me about it and suggested me to read. I was like “I don’t really get interested in children book..” but he insisted so I took a dive.

And the day I finished the first book the next day I was out to buy the next one in the series and had ever since been a HP fan and in turn J.K. Rowling’s fan.

Ironically J.K. Rowling is like a magician herself in HP series where she conjures a magical world which you get so much soaked in that the characters start seeming like real ones (also thanks to the HP movies for that). I have always admired her for the ease with which she takes the readers to an altogether different world of magic which does not feel so much different. From the characters to the events to the rituals all in some way or the other seem so plausible. And after certain time the reader starts empathizing with the characters.

For a book to create the kind of stir that HP series did among all age groups is a testimony to great writing. I am a very conservative person when it comes to becoming a fan of anything (music, rock-band  movies, books, etc.) but I will admit if ever I was to be called a fan of anything, I would happily call myself a HP fan (although I never stood in line to buy the books).

Some of the HP series book could be called mediocre or less than perfect but then when you are writing a series that is bound to happen, people will compare every volume with the previous ones. Nevertheless my admiration for HP and respect for J.K. Rowling never dwindled throughout the series.  And I even admired her more when she decided to end the series (although the heart always wanted more even till date).

So that’s in short is my acquaintance with the author, I even read the “The Tales of beedle the bard” which was kind of ok not that great. So since I heard about the casual vacancy I wanted to read it and find out how does the author fare with adult novels.

So here I am with “The Casual Vacancy”. Hopefully it will be fun (honestly I don’t expect it to be anywhere near HP but still…)

So will meet soon with the review, till then Happy Reading !

Also a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the readers!

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Week 30: the book this week is What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

It’s been 30 weeks (since I started) and I am ready to pick up my 28th book of this year (yes I am running behind by 2 books) and it feels good. Sometimes it becomes too difficult to get time to read but then this commitment of “52 books 52 weeks” keeps me going.

So the book I am starting this week is “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by “Marshall Goldsmith“. Now I don’t remember exactly where I heard of this book but most probably someone recommended it online and I find the title interesting (the entire title is “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There How Successful People Become Even More Successful”) and I have vaguely heard about Marshall Goldsmith.

I am not a very big fan of books preaching success mantras or what to do in your life or how to lead your life (hopefully this is not one such book), nevertheless the success stories or how one person achieved success (or whatever is achieved) in his or her life.

I am a firm believer that no one can teach you how to be successful (or for that matter how to lead your life) and most of the so-called ‘Self-Help’ books are bogus and don’t really help. It is you yourself who can achieve the results you want by trial and error method (try to do it in one way and if it fails, try some other way and repeat until it succeeds and then follow that way in other dealings wherever it is applicable in your life).

Nevertheless the stories of individuals (and I mean real ones) are sometimes good and it in the least motivates you. It’s one in a million shot that the manner in which one person achieves Success in life that can be replicated ‘as-is’ in your own life. But yes it can provide a motivation and may be their methods can provide a starting point or guideline for your future achievements (customization required).

I am not too sure what to expect from this book but hopefully it will be a good read.

What are your views on Self-Help books? Success Mantras? Do let me know.

Till next time Happy Reading!

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Week 28 – the book this week is Animal Farm

So after finishing a crappy book last week “Fifty Shades of Grey” I wanted to read something good.

And what better than to start a classic.

So the book this week is “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.

There are so many books coming out every day, so many immature writers and so many nonsensical subjects getting dealt that it creates a clutter in your mind. You feel exhausted and cheated after reading a rubbish book. So sometimes you find the much-needed respite in the classics only.

Though the book is hardly 100 pages but I am sure that it would be well worth it.

I hope to finish the week and the book well as the next week is a travelling week for me and depending on the circumstances I might be able to read a lot more or nothing at all.

I am already running 2 books behind the schedule, which I plan to cover-up soon.

Wish me luck and be with me for the review of Animal Farm and more.

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