I did not own any book till I switched to a city with a better pay and place where I could afford to buy books for myself, mostly paperbacks. But I still used to get it on loan (am doing that even now) from my friends. One of them had lot of Michael Crichton books (yeah, he was a fan of his). So apart from Jurassic Park , Congo, Andromeda Strain etc etc there was one more book of his (Michael Crichton) which I picked up (sort of completed all the books that this friend had with him). I did not know what genre it was, except that it was among the book list so I started on it. Almost after the 2nd or 3rd chapter, I knew that it was a non-fiction (I can be slow sometimes). That book was ‘Travels‘. It had very interesting incidents that the author had encountered in his life at various stages, including his travels and the things he saw there. It was funny even in most places. I am not sure if that really made an impact and made me start my own travelogue , but if I need to give anyone credit for my efforts, I would give it to Michael Crichton. I never thought that non-fiction can be fun too. I really enjoyed that book. And that is the only travel book I have read so far.
There is no particular reason for me for not liking non-fiction. I love stories. And stories always amaze me. Its like being transported to a world so different from your own, where there are lesser rules and things can be as dramatic or as realistic as you want them to be or rather as the story teller wants them to be. I cannot pen a story to save my life, but I can listen to it for hours together. That is the reason I always split my studies and complete them. They are bland and weren’t taught in a very interesting way, with live examples, interesting analogies , nothing of that sort. So my attention span on them will be maximum of half an hour. But when I try to teach (and I did teach papers for my classmates in my Post graduation when the teachers weren’t available for some subjects) I make sure it is not dull and limited to my attention span time. The same goes for non-fiction too. So no wonder Travels made it to my favorite list. But again I gave up non-fiction for fiction, there were too many to read yet.
After a lot of years, there came another book called ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari‘ by Robin Sharma. This is the 2nd book I attempted and even though I don’t go for self help, philosophical books , it came at a time when I needed it. I did not take anything from that as far as I remember (and I donated that to my brother who , if he ever reads, reads non-fiction only) but it was definitely a help in a way where I needed some kind of inspiration. Those small things and quotes that it had , I took them at that time. And I decided that I will never go to non-fiction (does Khalil Gibran’s Prophet count in non-fiction ? because I love that one) unless and otherwise I have a very strong urge to read it. And I haven’t read any after that until recently. I will come to that in another post, because that requires a special mention. But never did I think I will be devoted to a book much like Ponniyin Selvan ever in my life. I thought that could never happen. How wrong was I ?