Well, I know what you must be thinking that here is one of those articles by those self-professed avid readers or bibliophile ranting about how they love books and that’s why they are here to convince others to read as well.
Let me start by asking you this, did you ever find yourself feeling lost and bored during this period of self-isolation? Did you feel unproductive during this period? Did you feel caged and stuck? Did you find yourself wishing for this time to be over so that you could run away? If your answer is yes, to any of the above questions, this article is for you.
To be upfront with you, I am here for the above-mentioned reason, but that is only part of the main reason. The first and the more important cause to write this piece was my chance encounter with a lost soul.
This lost soul was a young man. A passionate photographer and trekker during his free time. With every conversation I had with him, it became clear to me that he was in the middle of a life-crisis. His life seemed to be a mess. With the nation on a lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to do the one thing he loved, going on treks to clear his mind.
He talked about how he loved being in between of nowhere, the courage it took to complete a challenging trek. I was spellbound throughout most of his adventure stories.
He told me that the lockdown and all this free time was taking a toll on his mind. One day he asked me, “are you happy?”. I said yes. I wasn’t lying to him but divulging into my existential crisis at that moment and going into the debate of, what do you exactly mean by happy?, didn’t seem to be a good way to go. So, I focused on dealing with him, as he seemed to be in need of a pair of ears to just listen to him. What he said was more important. He just said, he wasn’t happy and he was looking for peace, and all the things in his life didn’t make sense to him. He was planning to switch careers and leave his family business. He was truly lost, both emotionally and psychologically. We all have felt the same at one point in our life. But, the important part is how we spring back on our feet and what will give us the strength and guidance to do the same.
This was the point when I suggested that he should start reading. This was instantly called out by him, to be a cliched advice. I didn’t blame him. I suggested this with no proof. So, this is me building a case for books to entice the lost souls I meet in this journey to join the adventure of becoming a book-loving soul.
Why is reading important?
- Reading is not just a hobby to pass time. It is an art and a lifestyle choice.
- Mind is a muscle. By this logic, reading books can be called an exercise. So, the next time you are called out for being a lazy bum for sitting on your sofa with a book. Tell them that you are exercising the most important muscle in your body.
- Books provide food for thought which helps you to develop your thinking ability to build connections between event. You will be amazed
- Books make you good at conversations. The wisdom you gather by reading help you gain a diverse perspective on things.
- Writing a book takes time and effort, if you read good books by successful people you can be indirectly mentored by them.
Above mentioned are a few of the arguments to convince you to take up reading as a habit. These 8 books for beginner readers will cater to a wide range of genres and tastes, so that there is something for everybody.
Here are 8 books for beginner readers:
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
- Time Stops at Shamli- Ruskin Bond
- The Call of the Wild – Jack London
- Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
- Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy) – Amish Tripathi
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Series)- J.K. Rowling
- Little Women- Louisa May Alcott
- Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
1 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The story follows the main character Arthur Dent, the last human survivor. Arthur is rescued by Ford Prefect- a human-like alien writer. Arthur is saved moments before Earth is destroyed to build a hyperspace bypass. The characters of the book are easily distinguishable and perfect for a beginner reader to remember. This story will surely make you laugh out loud. For instance, there is a depressed robot by the name Marvin who hates everything. But he will make you laugh at every step. The plot of the story revolves around their adventure, but it the writing style of this book, that you will enjoy the most.
Genre- Comic sci-fi
Themes- adventure, friendship
Published – 1979
2 Time Stops at Shamli- Ruskin Bond
This is a collection of short stories. The setting includes small towns and villages. The characters are orgainic and relatable. A beginner reader would appreciate the simplicity of this novella. These stories bring out different emotions in a reader. From being nostalgic and dipped in loss and grief, the stories also bring you back to the land of hope and happiness.
Genre- fiction, short stories
Themes- lose, happiness
3 Call of the Wild- Jack London
This story is about a dog. I think this would suffice for all the animal lovers out there to pick up this book. This novella follows the story of a dog named Buck. From living a happy life to be stolen and sold to dog traders. The story is filled with emotions and adventure. This a tale of tenacity and fortitude.
Genre- Adventure Fiction
Themes- adventure, animals, love, nature.
4 The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
The protagonist of this novel is a sixteen years old boy named Holden Caulfield. A beginner reader would like the timeless tale of teenage anguish and the feeling of estrangement. The book is narrated by Holden in a stream of consciousness style which engages the readers. The book is easy to follow. You’ll get an insight into a young boy’s mind who thinks he is the superior voice in most rooms. You find the importance of satisfaction in this story. This book will remain relevant to readers of all ages.
Genre- Coming-of-age, fiction
Themes- Growing up, independence, identity.
5 Immortals of Meluha-Amish Tripathi
Set in ancient India which is divided into two kingdoms. The Suryavanshi’s and the Chandravanshi’s. The two clans are always at war with each other. The protagonist of this book is Shiva who is trying to live up to the prophecy of him being the savior of the Suryavanshi’s. As a beginner reader, you will be able to follow the story with ease and also enjoy the meticulously crafted ancient setting of the novel.
Genre- Fantasy Fiction
Theme- philosophy of good and evil
6 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s- J.K. Rowling (Series)
I am well aware that this is the second time I am sliding in a complete series. I do not have a choice but to coerce you into becoming a Potterhead like me. I am sure many of you must have watched the movies and if that is not the case, I would urge you to pick the first book of the series and start reading it. The people who have watched the movies would also find themselves enjoy the book thoroughly. The first book starts with the story of an orphan named Harry Potter who is living a miserable life. It is on his 11th birthday that a mysterious visitor comes into his life and ushers him into a world of magic and mystery.
Genre-Fiction Fantasy, Mystery, drama
Themes- Coming-of-age, love, good verse evil, loyalty
7 Little Women- Louisa May Alcott
This is a classic and for all you F.R.I.E.N.D.S tv. show fan out there, you owe to Rachel to read this classic once. The book will appeal to readers who grew up with siblings. It is also a coming-of-age story circling the lives four March sisters.
Themes- love, friendship, the importance of family
8 The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
The book is written as an allegory, so this is an extended metaphor for life itself. If you have ever had a dream of becoming something in life and feel unmotivated to achieve it, this is the book for you. There are several lessons to be learnt from this book. The most important being that you create your destiny.
Genre- Fantasy Fiction
Themes- Quest, adventure, wisdom and life
So, these are the 8-book recommendation for beginner readers. A new task could be daunting, but it is never too late to acquire a fruitful trait.
If you are still around and wondering what was the point of the story I shared in the beginning, I am glad you asked. The point of the story was that while we were subjected to a worldwide pandemic and a lockdown with minimal human contact, people were feeling lost and unproductive. I would argue that, though I was anxious and lost, I still felt periods of peace in the refuge of the worlds presented in the above-mentioned books. I read Harry Potter again, read Little women, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a few other books. The lost soul I mentioned, is not so lost anymore and he is finally a fellow Potterhead. We plan on going on a trek someday and hope the world is a better and braver when we come out of this unfortunate situation. In times like these, we all feel unproductive and bored. Reading could bring calm to the chaos in the soul. It can take you places you dreamt of or to places that you could have never imagined.
Thank you for reading.