I Buy More Books Than I Actually Read - Shashi Sinha

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Shashi Sinha, gives a feeling of being very rooted when he says, "I would rather go in for Indian authors and seek inspiration from our own culture and tradition. Some time ago when I read Dr Radhakrishnan's work on the Bhagawad Gita; it sort of gave me a different direction in life. Compare this to the Antonio Silva mind control program which I happen to attend recently. One realises that it's all derived from our Indian yogic technique and method.

I have a huge library of books at my place where I have all the five versions of Upanishads and Gita. Though, I must confess it's all very difficult to read. I wish these books were a bit more simplified."

"Going back in time, I wasn't really so much into reading during my school or college days. My father was in the Army and while in Dehradun, I was more into sports like hockey and cricket. Later, during my college days at IIT Kanpur, the attitude of my generation was to appear really cool. And how did we do that? By not really studying and yet doing well at the exams. You were cool if you could get maximum output by putting in minimum input. So, I definitely didn't want to be seen reading books. Instead, I picked up Bridge which I would say is a real cerebral game and very addictive indeed.

It's only later in life that I took to reading books."

"Now, most of the times it's work really but I do make it a point to read while travelling. Books do remain a constant source of inspiration for me. I land up buying a lot of books at airports. It's mostly Indian fiction, self-help books, biographies and of course books on advertising. Some of the recent authors that I've bought are Anurag Mathur, Pankaj Mishra. But, I must confess I buy more books than I actually read."

My favourite books

Currently, I am reading the Amul India Story by Ruth Heredia. The book traces the co-operative movement in the state of Gujarat. It's a story of faith, empowerment and dream realization. A passionate and thrilling account of how under the vision of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, they brought in `rural renaissance', by knocking off the middlemen involved in the dairy business.

Then, there is another book which I've read more than seven times really. It's called - My Life in Advertising & Scientific Advertising by Claude C Hopkins. The author is one of the founding fathers of modern advertising. The beauty of the book is such that it can

make the whole business of advertising seem very simple. One thing that I've learned from the book is that even by observing simple consumer behaviour, one can achieve a lot. And even simple ideas can give big gains.

Then, compare it to another book that I've recently read - How to turn Advertising expenses into investments by John Philip Jones. The author has spent more than 25 years in the field of advertising and here the emphasis is on the management process and planning. I often compare both the books and find Claude C Hopkins' style more simplistic and even a lay person can understand the whole business of advertising from the book.

Another book,that I've been hooked on to is Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte. The book explores the impact of digital technology on the new emerging world and it brings out the endless possibilities of the future into a sharper focus."

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