My stories have always had a strong contextual base. This is no different.
It all started off in 2014 when I was 17, I picked up this book called “Looking For Alaska” by John Green. And the quote below has been my life philosophy from the very start.
In the book, Alaska, has a habit of hoarding books, I still vividly remember why & I quote Alaska :
“Have you read all these books stacked on the floor?Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ’em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone toAlaska
garage sales and bought all the books that looked
interesting. So I always have something to read.
That’s what I did for the next 5 years. I bought books at bookshops, railway stations,airports,libraries, from the road. You name it, I bought it from there.
It’s 2019, I’m 22, Im sitting awkwardly bored on bed in Kochi, when I finally hatched a plan to meet some trekkers and Neha from Indiahikes in Banglore.
The trekkers took me to this bookshop, where I picked up the book that changed my life, ‘ Prisoners of Geography’ by Tim Marshall. Here’s an extract of it :
All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and concrete. To understand world events, news organizations and other authorities often focus on people, ideas, and political movements, but without geography, we never have the full picture. Now, in the relevant and timely Prisoners of Geography, seasoned journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders. Let’s put the geo back into Geopolitics.Goodreads
Now if that didn’t that blow your mind, I don’t know what will?
The reason the book changed pretty much everything for me and I quote Bill gates this time in his interview with the Quartz, when asked “How Bill Gates remembers what he reads.”
“If you read enough, there’s a similarity between things that make it easy, because this thing is like this other thing. If you have a broad framework, then you have a place to put everything. So you have the timeline, or you have the map, or you have the branches of science and what’s known and what’s not known. And so, incremental knowledge is so much easier to maintain in a rich way than, you know, the first time somebody is telling you about Rome. Why am I reading about Rome? Why am I reading about Queen Victoria?Bill Gates
I know I’m breaking your “flow”, but it’s worth it. Sometimes in life, its better to see it yourself than be told. This is one of those moments.
So Prisoners of Geography was my context. It was my broad framework to all the knowledge I collected in my 22 years of my existence.
The Study Room
While I was reading ,Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’, Michelle talks about how Obama has a study room, where he takes nothing but books inside. Barack Obama would read two to three books at a time, in that tiny study room. And me being inspired by my own life philosophy mentioned above, I decided to implement it.
I began reading two books at a time, leaving my phone outside the room. And I haven’t looked back so far.