From Haruki Murakami to Eckhart Tolle: Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin gives a glimpse into his reading habits

When did you get into reading? School or college? Or later?

I got into reading when I was in college. It started with academic reading and later transitioned to reading for leisure.

What are your favourite genres, books and authors?

I love reading books falling in the genre of magic realism, and biographies. I loved the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Another favourite is Autobiography of a Yogi. It made an impact on me by making me acknowledge the wonder and magic in everyday life.

My favourite authors are: Haruki Murakami for the surreal nature in which he portrays even the most mundane of details, and Eckhart Tolle for the spiritual, contemporary philosophy his books leave me with.

You have a busy schedule... how do you take out time for reading?

I try to read a minimum number of pages a day. If not a book I will atleast read a short article or an essay online.

How many books do you read in a month?

I can’t really put a fixed 'per month' number since it varies based on my schedule. But, this question guilt trips me into being more consistent with my reading game so I have a respectable number to put down in my next interview.

Where do you get book recommendations from?

Mostly through friends or online...

Ebook or physical book?

Physical book any day. There’s something about the sense of carrying a book with you and the gratification of the smell of the pages as you turn through chapters.

On 'currently reading' shelf?

Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Book adaptation(s) you loved?

A Street Car Named Desire for Marlon Brando’s performance.

Classic(s) you haven’t read, but claimed to have read?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Have you ever saved money to buy a book?

Yes, I have. It was for Archie comics and Hardy Boys when I was a kid.

If asked to choose three books from your bookshelf which would those be?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Books you would recommend to our readers?

1. Sapiens... by Yuval Noah Harari — to know the history of man and our place in it.

2. The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle — for a philosophical take on matters we perceive as problems.

3. Animal Farm by George Orwell — for a satirical take on our world today.

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