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Creating a Reading Habit
Reading daily is the best habit one can adopt. Reading is the ultimate source of knowledge and entertainment. Many people want to take up reading, but they have a hard time picking up the habit of reading daily and ultimately give up on it for various reasons.
One major reason for the failure to stick to a reading habit is that many people pick the most challenging books to read during their initial days. They find it difficult to understand the advanced language and eventually give up their efforts.
Therefore, it is essential that one starts with simple books and light stories written in easy language. I have come up with a list of some easy and interesting books by Indian authors that one might choose to read to cultivate a reading habit. You should consider picking up one of these if you are a beginner reader and are struggling to read daily.
Here are the 10 easy Indian books for beginners that this article discusses:
- The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty
- Time Stops at Shamli by Ruskin Bond
- Baaz by Anuja Chauhan
- A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy
- Dopehri by Pankaj Kapur
- Life's Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das
- Sita's Sister by Kavita Kane
- The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna
- Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayanan
- The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderasan
1. The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty
This is one of the most simple and elegant books for beginners. It is a compilation of extraordinary tales of ordinary people and is about the author’s life experiences. She has narrated them in a simple flowing language, and every story touches the heart’s core. The characters are ordinary people she has met at work, at home, in her village, during a journey, etc.
There’s a story about Vishnu, who has a successful career and is rich yet does not know happiness. Then there is Venkat, who is too busy to listen to others. The narrations are simple yet beautiful and tell how one should choose life rather than money.
This is a light and breezy read with no difficult or fancy words to confuse you. The book is simple, but the life lessons are profound. It’s a perfect book for beginners!
2. Time Stops at Shamli by Ruskin Bond
Time Stops at Shamli is a simple and beautiful collection of short stories set in different places and revolving around the lives of a variety of people. The collection includes romance, paranormal, horror, nostalgia, mystery, and nature. Most of these stories are autobiographical.
The stories are soulful and beautiful with a tinge of nostalgia. The title story, “Time Stops at Shamli,” is the jewel in the crown. Another story that I really loved is “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright,” which talks about the extinction of tigers due to depleting forests. It’s always so soothing to read Bond! I highly recommend this book for an easy-breezy read.
3. Baaz by Anuja Chauhan
I love Anuja Chauhan’s books. She is known for her witty romances with quirky characters, laugh-out-loud moments and liberal use of Hinglish. They are just perfect for beginners.
Baaz is the story of Ishaan Faujdaar, who comes from a village in Haryana and evolves into the best pilot that the Indian air force has produced. He is as handsome and brash as he is patriotic. Flanked by his buddies, Maddy and Raka, Baaz lives life king size. He enjoys an army officer’s life to the core and hopes to be a part of the 1971 war.
Tehmina Dadyseth is a budding photojournalist who believes that people matter more than borders, thus challenging Baaz’s notions of patriotism. When they meet, sparks fly, and opposites attract.
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The book reads like a Bollywood blockbuster: Jaw-dropping war scenes, witty one-liners and the trademark Anuja-Chauhan-style mushy love steal our hearts. If you are looking for a simple, light, fun and entertaining read, you definitely need to pick this one up.
The secret of staying young forever is to drown yourself in work that recharges you.
— Preeti Shenoy, A Hundred Little Flames
4. A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy
I loved this book. It is such a lovely story with gorgeous descriptions about Kerala and Pondicherry. Just reading about them made me want to visit these places. The novel centers around the bond of friendship between a young man and his aging yet humble grandfather.
Ayan, a young man, loses his job and retreats to his ancestral hometown in Kerala, where his aging grandfather lives alone in his large mansion. Ayan starts to form a beautiful bond with his grandfather. But Jairaj, Ayan’s domineering father, has his own plans and is determined to have his way.
Soon, Ayan has to come to terms with the hard realities of life and the blindness of greed when his father forcibly sends Gopal Shanker to a mental asylum. When Ayan reads his grandfather’s diaries, he discovers a past that had eclipsed his grandfather’s life. Both Ayan and Gopal Shankar gradually learn that life can sometimes unravel in unanticipated ways.
This isn’t a very fast-paced novel that you will fly through. But it’s a novel that you will love to read at a leisurely pace while enjoying every moment.
5. Dopehri by Pankaj Kapur
Legendary actor and theatre artist Pankaj Kapur became an author with Dopehri. This little novella is a story of 65-year-old widow Amma Bi who lives alone in her deserted haweli in Lucknow. At the strike of 3 every afternoon, she hears footsteps approaching, but as soon as she peaks through the window, there is no one.
It is then Amma Bi decides to take in a lodger. And so Sabiha enters and brings along a whirlwind of changes for Amma Bi's life and health. Overall, the book is a heartwarming tale of loneliness turned into happiness. This is a fast-paced and short book which you can easily read in a few hours.
6. Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das
This is the only nonfiction book on this list. Most of you might be familiar with Gaur Gopal Das, whose motivational videos go viral now and then. This is a self-help book narrated in a simple and interesting way.
The book starts with Gaur Gopal’s visit to an elite couple’s house for lunch. Harry goes to drop Gaur Gopal after lunch. They are stuck in a traffic jam when Harry confesses that he is unhappy in spite of his seemingly perfect life. From this starting point, Gaur Gopal relates a series of serious thoughts and amazing short stories that one can correlate.
Relationships, forgiveness, and mental peace through gratitude and compassion are explained in a fairly simple style with interesting short stories. The language is crisp and easy to understand. If you are a beginner or new to the self-help genre, then this is a good book to start with.
You could always call her secretive, masking her feelings beautifully lest anyone intrude into her inmost realm of hidden thoughts. It was a defense Urmila had evolved since childhood.
— Kavita Kané, Sita's Sister
7. Sita’s Sister by Kavita Kane
This book is a retelling of the Ramayana that’s written from the point of view of one of the lesser-known characters, Urmila, who is one of the most underrated but also one of the strongest characters of Ramayana. Urmila was the daughter of King Janaka, Sita’s sister and wife of Lakshmana. A woman who had suffered as much as anyone else during Lord Rama’s exile!
Urmila has been portrayed as a strong personality with brains and beauty, passionate yet practical. The story is woven wonderfully around her and depicts the emotions of Urmila as a sister and a responsible wife.
The language of the book is simple and easy to follow. The writing style is beautiful and captures the inner feelings of a woman perfectly. A good book for beginners, especially if you are interested in mythology!
8. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna
This is a short-story collection from Bollywood actress turned columnist and author Twinkle Khanna. All four stories in the book have one thing in common: women and their general plight. The last and fourth story, “The Sanitary Man From A Sacred Land,” is the most moving and has also been adapted into a Bollywood movie, Padman.
The stories have a simple narrative and are easy to relate to. The language is easy to follow—all in all, a good and quick read.
9. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayanan
Malgudi Days would be perfect for anyone who wants to indulge in some nostalgia. The narration is simple to read, yet it carries a very typical Indian childhood in it. It is a compilation of short stories, all located in Malgudi, an imaginary town in South India. This fictional town created by R.K. Narayan is absolutely magical and wonderful. However, the stories seem so real that you don't feel like any bit of it is fictional.
The writing style is easy and very relatable. This simple compilation will keep you coming back till you finish the book, and even then, you'll be wishing to read more.
10. The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderasan
The Twentieth Wife is the first book in the Taj Mahal Trilogy but can be read perfectly as a standalone. It spans the Akbar-Jahangir era, with Mehrunissa (later Nur Jahan) as the central character. This is the story of Mehrunissa’s life and how her impossible marriage with Jahangir happened, and she became Empress Noor Jahan, Jehangir’s twentieth and last wife despite so many adverse circumstances.
It is a love story and gives the reader a peek at life in the Mughal Empire and the harem of its emperor. This book is full of not just history but also provides insight into the royal life and culture of India during the Mughal era. Such rich, colorful descriptions are given of the clothing, jewelry, the palaces, the atmosphere.
This book has something for all, not just romance but war, conspiracies, suspense, and much more. Though largely fictional, the story is based on actual events, and the author does a great job of making it an interesting and compelling read. You will enjoy this fairy-tale-like love story and the history behind it.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Shaloo Walia