Reading Out of My Comfort Zone

Books are a way to connect with people in a cerebral fashion. When I encounter characters in a book, I tend to take sides and sometime making it compulsory, that I connect with them personally. These were during my early days of reading any kind of genres.

But after my MFA, I have come to a new understanding with what I recognize as my comfortable reading zone. These days, readings about characters are more about celebrating the differences and of course, I still take sides, though, they may not be my personal preference.

There is an interesting point about a story making sense to someone cannot relate to the story, character or plot. I am ready for stories that don’t replay the same sonata that I play in my mind space internally. The huge cacophony that I sometime hear while I encounter a unrelatable story becomes a musical of artwork of inner spaces.

Today as I was hanging out on facebook to get some ideas for writing, I found a post by my mentor. She had posted the link to video belonging to PBSNewsHour Youtube Feed.


When I heard the novelist and creative writing teacher Charmaine Craig, I was totally taken over by her thoughts. Then, as always the mind started to churn the information within me, a process that happens often with me. During my MFA classes, we had a syllabus including books by various writers and their works were critically viewed.

I must say that the course set my thinking mind in turmoil because I was so used to conservative reading list. My classmates’ works were actually works that I couldn’t relate to for major part. It was the hardest to read the first workshop work of my classmate whose works was to be workshopped the following week. I remember guzzling beverages available in my flat and struggling to understand it.

That is partly the reason when I review books, I tell myself, there can be a few things, which I don’t agree with; but can I peacefully accept its presence in the book, was the question. After the first semester, I had learned to read my classmates work and the syllabus in relative ease. The one take away from the experience of reading a book that you cannot relate to, is the fact that, there is another aspect to life, which might never be your reality ever.

That brings up an interesting question: Is the reality that is around us so multifaceted? And if so, then, seeing it with single prism view would be most ill-fitting task. That then, brings me to the question: Are books then not just a cerebral off-spring of the writer but a view that could be hard to relate?

Do we stand against such a book? Or the book is actually a sampler of varied range of stories floating in the World Literature?