Here in India, students and professionals alike can almost always be spotted with a book by their side. Students read under their desks in class while teachers remain oblivious to these activities.
Call Center professionals read in between calls at their work place. Because most of them work US and UK hours, getting off around 5-6 am when family is fast asleep, they tout reading a book as one hobby they don’t have to give up.
Mumbai’s commercial center is at least an hour by local train from the residential parts of the city. It is very common to see people engrossed in a book during this commute. Trains are so jam packed that finding a seat is impossible so they just stand and read.
Below are the top 10 books you’ll find on every bookworm’s shelf in Mumbai.
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This book inculcates in the reader the power to convert a vision into reality. The storyline revolves around a young Shepard who sets out to crystallize everything he had always dreamt of. People in Mumbai feel inspired and motivated after reading this book and vow to live by its philosophy.
2. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
This heavily entwined plot, its complex characters and the narrative style of this book enhance its quality which makes it a popular favorite among the Mumbai-ites. The book revolves around the Corleone family who are big shots in the Italian mafia.
3. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
It tells the story of a southern girl and her journey through life including finding love set against the backdrop of the Civil War. This romantic drama is a widely read book in Mumbai because of its subtle yet detailed gripping plot line.
4. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
This book is widely read in Mumbai as it gives a brutally honest insight into the culture and life in Afghanistan. The storyline is a heart warming account of a boy and his journeys through life.
5. The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
It is considered the best fantasy novel ever written. The people here love this book because the amount of detail that goes into everything is amazing and so believable. It’s about a fictitious character called a Hobbit who inherits a ring which enables its owner to rule the world. The chilling chase to obtain this ring by everyone in the kingdom make this an unforgettable read.
6. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
This book is not only reading material but a philosophy to be adapted into daily life. It teaches the reader how just by thinking in a positive and healthy manner they can materialize every single thing they had ever dreamt of. Many Mumbai-ites after reading this book swear by its guidelines.
7. Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
Set against the backdrop of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi – India’s most prestigious engineering college – the mischief the book’s three protagonists are always up to makes it a favorite among college students. The older generation loves this book because it never fails to take them down memory lane.
8. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
It is primarily about a struggling architect who does not succumb to control and domination and lives his own individuality. The lesson Ayn Rand set out to teach is that humans should control their own lives. This message is clearly received in Mumbai and its interesting plot line makes Fountainhead a hit among the Indians.
9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
This book is very popular in Mumbai because it’s fast paced, suspenseful and very involving. The plot line is complex using elements the religious communities within India feel very strongly about. It is read by a wide cross section of India, some out of curiosity no doubt but most because it’s a damn good book. The story revolves around Robert Langdon and how he gets dragged into an international controversy bigger than anyone could imagine.
10. The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
The fantasy fiction line this book follows is considered something far fetched but achievable. Kids often come to believe that they too could be chosen to be a wizard or a witch, while adults enjoy it purely for its fantastically, gripping storyline.
What’s the most popular book currently being read in your city? Tell us below.
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Divya Srinivasan is a student in Mumbai. She loves traveling and photographing and writing about her experiences. She says, "Music is the fuel which works my engine."