When you read as much as I do after a certain amount of time plot fatigue sets in. Most of the scenes seem to reproduced from one book or another and overall reading loses it's charm. So what keeps a prolific reader going. I have known people who have read fictions for more than 25 years and are still not bored by it. Similarly I have also known people who have started experimenting with other genres like literary fiction, philosophy, non-fiction and have found themselves enriched for it.
So here infront of us we have two options: One to entrech and other to find new avenues, my solution lies in somewhere in the middle. I believe this solution will appeal to most of us. Personally I have found it difficult to stay away from fiction for long. While I am open to experimenting with other genres, fiction is where my heart and soul belongs. Put in my hands an adventure thriller from Matthew Reilly or a spell binding mystery from Dan Brown or Colin Forbes and I'm sold. You will not hear a peep out of me until I'm done with it.
So what do I do when fiction gets too much for me, simply put I diverge. I read some biographicals of people I admire like Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Kishore Biyani, Indian Business Leaders or I indulge in my other love - Historicals.
History has always fascinated me. At one point in time I was ready to take the plunge into the world of dusty old tomes and the legacy left behind for us. It was only the notion that I would starve to death and perhaps the feeling that it may not make me enough money for the rest of my life that made me take the plunge into the scientific world of computers. The rest they say is history... how ironic.
I digress. History has always been an area of my interest. I am particularly interested in ancient Indian history and civilization. Alas there are so few books available in this particular genre and what is available is staid enough to put a dinosaur to sleep. William Dalrymple is one author who comes to mind when talking about historicals. His books on the Mughal era are particularly well researched and well written.
Another excellent genre is satire. There are so few authors who can write satire without coming across as rude and condescending that it's almost impossible to find good books to read in this area. Tom Sharpe comes to mind immediately while talking about this genre. I picked up his book Indecent Exposure based on the recommendation from my friend Praveen in shelfari.com and I must say that I have come away impressed. The term black comedy suits this one aptly. Based on an apartheid South Africa, this has to be read to be believed.
Apart from these I also like to read investigative accounts of journalisms. Sometime across I came across a book called The Sniper it's a biography of a sniper who was active on the Af-Pak border in the current ongoing war on terror. A couple of other books have also caught my attension, but alas I have been unable to lay my hands on them so far despite my best attempts. Prominent among them is Dominique Lapierre's book on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy that happened in India. Aptly titled Five Past Midnight in Bhopal the book tells The Epic Story of World's Deadliest Industrial Disaster.
Any book the reader feels that changed their prespective on how things are looked at in life, please mention. I would be glad to find some good material to read.