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HT Brunch Game show: Who will finish reading A Suitable Boy first? – brunch feature


Aanandita Chawla, 30, Copywriter

Aanandita has finished reading 200 pages

She’s at: About 200 of the 1,535 pages of the book she borrowed from the local library. Aanandita started a week ago.

Reading frequency: A quick reader, mostly at night, she’s always reading five to six books simultaneously.

A little back story: Her dad wanted her to read it when she was 13! She started but the bulk made her hands hurt and found it wildly unrelatable, which didn’t do much for her adventure-seeking teenage mind.

Preferred medium: “I don’t absorb books on Kindle,” she admits.

Her toughest read so far:Far Pavilions and The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair.

Zara Razzak, 25, Entrepreneur

Zara is halfway through

Zara is halfway through

She’s at: Halfway through the e-book on her phone. She started reading in July, when the trailer of the show aired.

Reading frequency: Zara can easily finish a couple of books in a week.

A little back story: A fan of Indian fiction, she had heard about the “longest novel” for years, but it only piqued her interest after the show was announced. “I have been struggling to finish this book, which is a rare occurrence,” she says.

Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is a 1,500 word book that was first released in 1993

Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is a 1,500 word book that was first released in 1993

Preferred medium: A printed copy!

Her toughest read so far:Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin. “I expected action-packed content but it was a slow and uninteresting read.”

Shruti has to listen to last two chapters

Shruti has to listen to last two chapters

Shruti Angiras, 29, Management consultant

She’s at: The last two chapters with two hours of listening left of the dramatised version. She started reading only last month.

Reading frequency: Shruti manages to read at least a dozen books a year. “I read books borrowed from school library by the torchlight under the blankets at night,” she laughs.

A little back story: She had heard about the book many years ago. “I was a books-before-series person but can’t maintain that stance these days. The news of the series wasn’t the goal point but I’ll surely give it a watch when it’s out,” she adds.

Preferred medium: Listening, especially while she’s working out.

Her toughest read so far: A Suitable Boy!

And the winner is…Shruti Angiras

“Stuck with a boring book? Abandon it!”

“Shruti has only two hours of listening to go, so it’s apparent she will finish reading this 1,500-page book first. But we must remember, she is listening to the audio book, not reading. I’m not sure if her perception would be the same had she read the book, because reading gives the words a different voice in your head,” says Kiran Manral award-winning journalist and author.

She shares three steps to ensure you leave no book incomplete. Have a dedicated reading spot that overlooks a window that you can look out of to assimilate words without getting distracted. Set a target and spend half an hour reading before you go to bed. If you are stuck because you don’t like the medium, then you should abandon it!

From HT Brunch, October 25, 2020

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