Everybody has their own favorite aspects of the Dashain season, however, as we found out, it’s not only the festivities and time off work that people are looking forward to. As expected, avid readers around town have big plans to capitalize on their time off. So with the festival celebrations right at our doorsteps, The Week asked them to share some of the books on this holiday’s ‘To Read’ list as well as review whether the annual vacations really help bolster their reading habits.
Sumit Bikram Rana
I don’t have much time to indulge in story books and fiction. These days my reading list is almost entirely made up of reference materials for classes and they are enough to keep me fully occupied. Personally for me, the Dashain holidays doesn’t exactly help matters on this regard. What with the feasts, and celebrations, my schedule during this time of the year is equally packed. There isn’t exactly any free time per se; however, I do want to get a little bit of reading done during my holidays.
From prior experience, I have learnt that it helps to have a book in digital format. Rather than carry around an actual book, it’s more convenient to have the contents in your cell phone. So whenever the opportunity presents itself, I can scroll through it. That’s my plan this year as well because I am looking forward to reading this book, Bhurajniti. A journalist recently recommended this book to me. We were studying Changing Dynamics of Security in our class and I have always been interested in these issues. I think this will help me gain more perspective on the matter. I think it’s worth investing time on such books because you tend to have more confidence in your inputs while participating in discussions and interactions.
It is always more challenging to maintain a regular reading schedule during the festival time. For instance, this year, our college is planning to take us on a trip to Rara Lake. I’m looking forward to it but my friends have already warned me to not bring any books. They keep reminding me that nobody is going to help me carry the extra load and I confess, initially, I was thinking about taking around five books with me on this trip. However, after the warning, I have settled on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird. I still have several Murakami books on my ‘To Read’ list and ideally, I would be able to start on them all this Dashain. But since I don’t have much choice on this matter this year, I have forced myself to choose Lee’s classic.
Normally, I make sure I spend at least an hour of my day reading literature. Since I’m also studying MBA, the assignments do make it tricky to stick to this habit but I discovered that at the end of the day, it is possible. So even though personally the annual holidays prove to be more of an obstacle to my reading routines, I strive to find a place for them in my schedule. It’s my definition of fun.
Aayesha Rai Gurung
There are a couple of books that were given to me as gifts on my birthday, those that I have yet to start on. However, truth to be told, this Dashain, I’m particularly looking forward to catch up on my fan fictions. I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and perhaps it is my inability to let go of the franchise, I can’t get enough of this genre. Currently I believe I have 10 fan fictions waiting for me. They all have different writing styles, creative theories and present new scenarios so I am totally excited.
The annual holiday season certainly is a big help when it comes to gratifying my love for reading. This is something I do to relax, but even though I make sure to reserve my Sundays exclusively for reading purposes, I find myself lagging behind every now and then. The daily grind of work, responsibilities, and the long commute route leaves me so exhausted that even when I do sit down with a book, I find myself too tired and I just tend to fall asleep. So naturally with Dashain, I also get the opportunity to leave all the hassles behind and just bury myself in some good books and quality fan fictions. It also helps that I don’t have many relatives living in the valley. I plan to spend all the extra time away from the festivities reading.
There are many academicians and literature fans in my family but I especially remember my elder sister’s excitement around the festive seasons. I grew up watching her eagerly anticipate the holidays solely because she relished the extra time she got during that period to read her story books. So, for me, this time of the year has always been reserved to catch up on my reading. It makes a lot of sense and also feels like the normal thing to do. Other than the day of tika, I’m relatively free throughout the holidays. When I was in school, I looked forward to putting aside the course books and picking up some of my favorite fictions. Now, as an adult, I’m happy to once again forget about work and enjoy reading as much as I want to.
Generally, I like to simultaneously read two or three different genres of books at the same time. But obviously, it’s always a challenge to find time for all of that on a day to day basis. As it is, I have been trying to finish the book, Career of Evil for two months now. It feels like I have been stuck on it for ages already, so this Dashain I plan to complete it once and for all. Similarly, I started Stephen Hawkin’s The Grand Design around Ghatasthapana so that is also currently on my holiday reading list.