WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Childhood is the time when we are free to pursue our interests without any hindrances and stress. There is no burden and there is no pressure. It is this time when we form our own delicate opinion of the world and its ways and hence what we imbibe in our childhood is really important, for it defines who we become as an adult. Good habits gained in our childhood stay with us forever and what better habit to inculcate as a youngster than the habit of reading.
In “I’d Rather Read” we see a collection of essays from our favourite Indian children’s authors and how they were initiated into the world of words and literature. How they felt discovering that old rusty smell of old books? How did they feel when they stepped into the wonderland of a library? Who introduced them to the Roalds and Blytons of the world? These are just some of the questions which your favourite authors try to answer in this book.
Jerry Pinto’s short and sweet poem “I’d Rather Read” which also lend its name to the book is an indulgent read.
“Some like to garden and happily weed;
I’d rather read.
Some like to run till their feet bleed;
I’d rather read.”
“I won’t play in the team you lead.
I know it’s an eleventh man you need.
But I’d rather read.”
Among the many authors who have contributed to this book, a few are famous household names like APJ Abdul Kalam, Sudha Murty, Roopa Pai, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Jerry Pinto, Satyajit Ray and Ruskin Bond. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Kalam’s essay which was aptly named “The Wonderful World of Books”. In this essay, he talks about his humble beginnings at Rameshwaram and how it was in that small dusty town that his love affair with books began. He passionately tells his readers of how the small home library of the freedom fighter S.T.R. Manickam provided Kalam with his very first books; books that will indeed have an everlasting impression on him.
I also liked the essay written by Roopa Pai titled “Do You Have Any Enid Blytons?” This was a piece which particularly intrigued me for just like Roopa, I myself was a huge fan of Blyton in my childhood days. In this piece, she vividly describes how the first question she will ask anyone whom she was visiting as a child was if they had any Enid Blytons with them. The host’s answer will then determine the category of likeability in which Roopa will place them.
The book thus is an excellent way for the young book nerds to discover the ways and the journey of their favourite authors. This book is apt not just for children but also for adults for it provides for a really quick and fun read. I thus rate this book three and a half out of five stars while recommending it to all my readers.