My Reading Journey + GIVEAWAY!

This post has been simmering in the back of my mind for quite some time now and today felt like the perfect time to chat about what reading means to me personally. It is especially apt that I’m talking about this now because I wanted to thank all of the wonderful people who have supported my reading journey thus far, which also includes my presence in the online book community. If you’re here for the giveaway alone, you can skip to the end, but I’d be much obliged if you took a little time to read through this. I’ll break down all of the things I want to share in a Q&A format, so that it’s easy to read through.

My Reading Journey + Giveaway

Q: When did you start reading?

A: I was always surrounded by books right from childhood. Everyone in my family is an avid reader and my grandma has a room full of books that gives off the most wonderful scent of old books. I guess that I just picked up on that subconsciously. My oldest memory of reading is going through some books that I was given as a prize for being in the top 3 of my class in kindergarten and primary school.

Q. Why do you read?

A. This is a little hard for me to answer as I feel like there are several factors that shaped me into the book lover I am today. I’m finding some of it hard to put into words. I have always loved the idea of reading mostly because I internalized it as a child, I believe. When I read, I fall into the world of the story for that amount of time, so it is my escape from reality and a way to de-stress. I also learn so much from books, even though it might be fiction. I owe pretty much all of the emotional maturity I have to the books I’ve read. I was forced to give up reading during some hectic years when I had to concentrate on studies, and I realised the value reading holds in my life only after I re-started it. I can safely say that at this point, I don’t ever want to stop reading again.

Q. How did your love for reading grow?

A. A significant contributor for this was my school library. In the school I attended before this one, children from Class 4 and upwards were allowed inside the library, if I remember correctly. I remember peering longingly into the room and eagerly waiting for the day I would be old enough to go inside. When I changed schools, I was thrilled to discover that we had a weekly library period and I believe I made the most of it while I was there. I started off with some random books in Class 4 in the school library, but I had better luck with the little cupboard that was in my classroom. I started with Gulliver’s Travels. That year, we had a chapter from The Chronicles of Narnia in our textbook and my English teacher narrated the rest of the story to us whenever she could. In the Scholastic Book Fair that was organized in my school in the same year, I made sure I bought a copy, which sparked my everlasting love for fantasy.

The school library occupied two whole floors and we were only allowed into the first floor from Class 5. That is where I discovered some classic children’s literature like Enid Blyton’s mysteries, then moved on to Nancy Drew and after that, I started picking up fantasy, historical and mythological books. I’d spend the hour reading comics and having a good laugh or getting through some non-fiction or Chicken Soup books and I’d borrow the novels, starting them on that very day in an attempt to complete them within the week. I remember finishing some books in one sitting and enduring the agony of having to wait another 6 days at least to get another one. I even tried some genres like horror, which was mostly the Goosebumps series, and found that I didn’t really like the stories themselves but thoroughly enjoyed the format of the ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ ones. While many of my classmates never read and preferred to borrow books that were quite slim so that they wouldn’t be a burden to carry, I remember borrowing the complete movie-tie edition of The Lord of the Rings and lugging it around for 3 weeks.

I feel like I didn’t really appreciate all of this when I was there. It has made me who I am and added so many wonderful books to my tally. When I went to check out the library in college, it mostly consisted of rows upon rows of textbooks and one tiny little shelf for fiction that I was not interested in at all. It was then that it began to sink in that I was so very lucky to have had a library as big and well-stocked as the one in my school and to study in a school that actively promoted reading. We not only had a library period every week, but also book fairs every year and on World Reading Day, we would all be made to read for an hour or so compulsorily. The libraries in my country are really not that good in the sense that they don’t carry many titles besides the very popular ones in the genres I prefer to read, so it was quite a miracle that I studied in a school whose librarian was competent enough to acquire all of the wonderful books that I read when I was there. I really wish I could go back just to see what titles are available there now and experience the joy of picking up books for free again.

Q. How did you get into book blogging?

A. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before or if a lot of my followers here know about this, but I had a blog that focused on writing before I started Unputdownable Books. I started falling out of love with that somewhere in 2016 and I also started feeling directionless with respect to it. In December 2016, I stumbled upon the amazing community of Booktube and the urge to share my reading experience with the world steadily grew as I watched more and more. I finally decided to start off on a small-scale on Tumblr, but the medium didn’t really work for me. I was conflicted about whether to integrate Unputdownable Books with my old blog and tried it out for a week or two before I decided it needed to exist independently. In May 2017, Unputdownable Books as you know it was born.

Q. Who were instrumental in the growth of your book blog?

A. I want to take this opportunity to talk about some of the people to whom I’m immensely thankful and who have been instrumental in getting Unputdownable Books to the position it is in today.

First of all, to the five wonderful people who follow me here and used to follow me on my old blog as well – Sara, Rachel, Megan, E. E. Rawls and Ilsa. Next, to the creators of the communities I’m lucky to be a part of – Avalinah (Intl. and new blogger’s group), Jenn (Crone bloggers group) and Marta (Cursed book club). Third, to some of the best people in the Indian book blogging scene – Charvi, Aditi, Simant, Prags, Poulami, Chitra and Resh. Fourth, to some of the people I look up to in the book blogging scene currently – Shealea, Lia, Cait, Justine, Briana and Krysta. Lastly, to all of the people who regularly comment and show my posts some love – Ayunda, Etinosa (I’m mentioning the username here), Camilla, Norrie, Olivia, the lovely Swedish person behind ‘I read that in a book’ and so many others. I wish I could put all of your names up here because all of your support, down to even a simple thing such as 1 like, means a lot to me and I really want to pay it forward.


Now that I’m done talking about myself, let’s get to the exciting part of this post, which is the giveaway. This is my first ever giveaway, so I’m starting with just one book that is absolutely gorgeous but I know I won’t enjoy. I got it in a book box and I haven’t even unpacked it since I’d already decided this would need a new home. To enter, all you have to do is follow me on the blog and on my Twitter as well as my Bookstagram. None of them are mandatory but I’d really like it if you did. Also, I do request that you only enter if you’re really interested in the book and that you only enter through the options that actually apply to you. I’m giving bonus entries for my existing followers as this giveaway is a thank you to all of them, so please be honest while entering because I will be cross-checking. It runs until the 21st and the winner will be picked on the 25th as I will need some time to verify the entries. It is a random draw, so hope you have your lucky pants on! The link isn’t showing up with the cool kind of preview I want, so please click on the ugly link below the book cover to enter.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Book Cover)

Click here to enter the giveaway!
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


CommentsHow did your reading journey start? Who would you thank for shaping you into the reader that you are? Do you enjoy classics? Let me know in the comments section below.

41 thoughts on “My Reading Journey + GIVEAWAY!

      1. Sometimes I completely forget that old classics can be obtained for free legally online. 🙈 Thanks for the reminder! 😊 I think I’ll check it out when I’m a little older and I’m in the mood to read some classics.
        Also, I’m so sorry that I forgot to mention you in the post! Will rectify that soon. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is her best known and perhaps most interesting novel but I’ve always been fond of her simpler debut novel, Agnes Grey, which also has the benefit of being a good deal shorter, so that one may be a good place to start if you are ever in the mood for it. Don’t worry about mentions. Only the smallest blogs could hope to mention everyone, I did not feel excluded.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Awww thanks for the shout out and for using my name.. Most people just use uwadis or uwadis @ uwadis. Com. And I’m like I have a name.. Lol…. Congrats on your first giveaway. I didn’t even know you had a writing blog before. Im glad I found your blog when i just started blogging and I love reading your posts. Have a great weekend. 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I wasn’t sure if your username is your real name, but I really wanted to give that personal touch by calling people by their name rather than their blog names. I’m so glad I got it right! 😅
      I’ve given up on that blog now, although I wish I could still keep it up but I really don’t have the time. Thank you for your support and all the wonderful things you said about my blog. ❤ This is what keeps me motivated. 😊 Have a great weekend as well! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your grandma’s library sounds a lot like what my parents had. We had a wall covered in shelf, and another one was kind of a divider in the room, so it was like a book tunnel. 😀 When i was little, i used to spend ages there just picking up books and looking at the covers (before i could actually read)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember my school library very fondly and I am disappointed by the school libraries turning into “media centers” because they believe books are dead. I don’t want to see generations miss out on a weekly library book because their schools are too focused on STEM!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too believe there should be a fine balance between STEM-related activities and art/literature activities in school. So far in India, I don’t think the concept of “media centres” has caught on, thankfully! But the society in general seems to believe that reading is a dead habit, which is why the reading community is so small here. I’d be devastated if this happened here too. 😞 Thanks for sharing your opinion, Krysta. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, reading is supposedly dead in American schools, but then I have to question why the solution is to toss all the books and bring in computers. Why not ask what went wrong and how we can make reading enjoyable for students?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a very valid point! I feel like reading is the sort of thing that never goes “out of fashion”. I really hope it never gets to a point where it becomes obsolete. I still hold out hope because the bookish community is steadily growing online and it is becoming more widely accepted as a hobby.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time I get told that someone “looks up” to me, I weep a little inside because I’m fragile and aww!!! I’m incredibly humbled. ❤️

    I got into reading because of my grandmother. She used to read to me every night as a little kid! And I literally cannot remember a time in my life where I didn’t love reading. 😊 Anyway, this was a fun Q&A. Really enjoyed reading your answers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad this little mention made you happy. ❤ Thanks for the appreciation as well! I’m on the verge of happy tears too. 😅
      That is such a sweet story! 🙂 It’s so heart-warming to see a family member kickstart someone’s love for reading rather than something external. It always makes reading that much more personal. Thanks for sharing your story on here! 😊

      Like

  5. Aww this is such a great post!! I love how it was written. I don’t actually remember how I discovered my love for reading or how I began to read but I guess 4th grade was where it all started. Then in 5th grade I remember feeling annoyed with our class teacher because she had cancelled our library period. So yeah, my memory is kind of weird.
    And thank you soooo much for mentioning me. ❤ ❤ I can't believe it. Like….just…I don't know what words are.
    But thank you also for being such a sweet friend. Again this was such a great post.

    Also I just realized that I am not following you. I swear I thought I had been following you since February I guess. Oh gosh this is embarrassing. Soryy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 Don’t worry, even I thought I was already following you but realised I wasn’t when I wanted to tag you in this post. 🙈 Of course I’d include you – you’re such a sweetheart and your support means everything. ❤
      Yay, I remember my 4th grade experiences very well too and that’s probably when I became a “proper bookworm”. 😂 You were right to get annoyed! Sometimes teachers would do that if we misbehaved but not a lot of people had any issues with that; everyone only cared if it was the games period that got cancelled. 🙄

      Like

  6. Such a lovely post Nandini 😊 I enjoyed reading about your journey. Though you were among books from your childhood, I am still pretty new int hat field. I used to read some books in childhood but no one in my family is a reader so that hobby lost in the way until last year.
    Aww thanks for including my name 😊 And sorry if I am not always commenting 🙈 But I try to fo whenever I can.
    And thanks for the giveaway. I’ll give a shoutout on IG and Twitter too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, no! When your family doesn’t understand why your head is always stuck in a book, it’s difficult to maintain that. I’m so astonished that you’ve only been reading seriously for a year and have managed to grow so much as a reader + book blogger! 😱 That is seriously amazing and my respect for you has really shot up. ❤ I’m super glad you were able to get back into the reading habit though. I’m sure many can draw inspiration from your story. 😊
      That’s quite alright! I’ve been terrible at blog hopping these days too, but I know you’re always supportive and will show it when you get the time to do so. ❤ Thanks a lot for the shout-outs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Olivia-Savannah

    I think it’s always so interesting to hear about everyone’s reading journeys! We all fall in love with books in different ways. I have been reading since I can remember thanks to my mum and a very kind and enthusiastic primary school librarian 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! Librarians so such a wonderful job and I feel like they don’t get enough thanks for it. I’d love to quit my day job and just take over as the librarian for my school library, TBH. 😂 It’s always nicer when your family supports your reading habit! Thanks for sharing this on here. 😊
      And I’m so sorry for overlooking your name in this post. I’ll edit it soon and update it because you’ve been so very supportive and kind in the comments section on here and I want you to know that it means a lot to me! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You took a chance on starting a new blog and it’s really worked out for you. I’m so glad you’re having success and doing the thing you love! It warms my heart to see passionate bloggers follow their dreams (especially if that blogger is my twin from across the world 🙂 ).
    A book giveaway! That’s so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m so happy my blogging twin stuck with me through all this. I’m so sorry my reply is so late! I was caught up with office work and now I’ve fallen sick. 😞 Lots of love and support to you from the across the world, as always. ❤❤❤

      Like

      1. Oh no! That’s not fun. 😦 There was a bunch of sickness going on here a few months ago and, of course, I got it. I had the flu and then an upper respiratory infection that had me down for three weeks. I’m so glad it’s over now though. I hope get to feeling better soon! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. D’aw. Thank you for the mention, Nandini. *hugs*

    I’m really impressed that you remember so much of your reading journey, especially going back to your childhood. My memory of mine is bits and pieces here and there, from some of my very early reads to the books I loved as a pre-teen / “tween”. I read a lot of historical fiction geared towards girls, especially the American Girl series (a franchise of book series that followed a different girl as she grew up during a unique time in U.S. history), Little House on the Prairie, and several Scott O’Dell books (his stories focused on Native Americans and other indigenous tribes of the Caribbean and the Pacific). And… I might have been a Baby-Sitters Club fangirl back in the day. (*blushes*)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Nandini, truthfully; I have never been an avid reader. I have probably only read 6 or 7 books my whole life. But I love writing. I have my whole life. Your book blog here is quite refreshing. We need more people like you. I love this from you: “When I read, I fall into the world of the story for that amount of time, so it is my escape from reality and a way to de-stress.” Perhaps one day you will enjoy one of my stories. God bless you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I don’t disappoint. In the email I received regrading my comment here. It stated that people enjoyed my comment and suggest I might connect with them. I am new at this. If you could shed some like on that I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks. Until next time. Peace.

        Like

  11. It breaks my heart whenever I hear about people who had to give up reading because of their studies! I have begun to realize how lucky I’ve been to study children’s literature and be required to read even more of the books I love. It’s great that you’ve been able to rekindle your love of reading, though. I loved reading about your school library – it’s awesome that it was such a great resource.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I think the pressure in Asian countries to study and the unhealthy competition definitely contributes to the fact that so many children give up their hobbies for studies. I’m so glad to know that you’re studying something you love so much! ❤

      Like

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