Tag Archives: Howard Roark

Books: Entertainment To Friend, Philosopher And Guide

My earliest memories of book reading are related to stories. Books were meant for those short simple stories either related to mythology, animals or cartoons. They were meant for entertainment and passing your time. After some years a different category of books got added to this. I remember reading some Russian books translated in Hindi about space exploration, planets and other science subjects. There were books about greatest and best adventures, mysteries, treasures and such information. That was the time when books changed from being entertainment to source of information as well.

As I grew older, the kind of stories I was reading also changed. I was reading thrillers, complex stories, science fiction and humor. I still enjoyed reading the stories but now I was also learning from these stories. I was able to create my own version of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts in my mind. I had my own image of Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark or Eric Segal’s Barney. I was creating my own Universe while reading these stories. Many of these stories were also rich source of cultural nuances of different societies and people. I also started reading history and books related to historical research. That opened my eyes to not only today’s civilization but of our ancestors as well. Now the books were becoming more than a source of information. They were my friend and guide as well.

More recently, I got interested in books which are described as Self-Help books. Many of these books have complex philosophical and psychological concepts. They are about behavioral economics of individuals, groups and societies. I have started learning about the nature of our own thoughts and actions. Today the books are my companion, friend, my shrink and my guide as well. Not only the nature of books that I read have evolved but what I extract from a simple story book has also changed over the years. I can enjoy a non-fiction “Guns Germs and Steel” as easily as a story book and I also enjoy discovering deep psychological concepts from Harry Potter books.

When I speak to people, it is the books that I have read throughout my life that are speaking on my behalf. This attempt at writing blog on the books that I have read is the next phase of my book reading where I am not only benefitting from the books that I read but I am also sharing them with the unseen world. Books have played a great role in shaping my life and I wish it will play the same role to all the other readers out there.

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Timeless Characters And Their Names In Books

I was wondering why some characters and their names in the books become so famous and why some of them are completely forgotten even though the book itself may be quite famous. In some cases the title of the book itself makes the name of the character very famous like Harry Potter or Eragon but in other cases it is the strength of the character that makes it famous like Howard Roark in Fountainhead. But there are other books where you will find it very difficult to remember the name of the character. As an example, I do not remember the name of main character in Five Point Someone or Love Story. I guess it has also to do with the narrative style of the story as well. If the story is written in first person the name is used less often making it less memorable.

Is it necessary for the name of the character to reflect the nature? I guess not. I wonder how J. K. Rowling decided on Harry or Hermione or Ron. She has given lot of thought while deciding names of spells but she seemed to have picked up really common names for her main characters. Even the Bella of Twilight is a very common name. On the other hand, some books come up with very uncommon names like Eragon. Something that you have never heard of. If the name is so common, do we still start relating that name with the type of character if that character becomes famous. Will we think of very intelligent and sharp girl if we meet some real life Hermione?

There is another aspect of naming that I have found very amusing. When books are translated from other languages to English, the native names are still taken in and then it becomes difficult to remember those names like it happened with me while reading War and Peace. I guess many non-Indians will find difficult to remember names if they were to read Mahabharata in English.

I guess the naming of characters is a complicated process in the minds of author and mostly they also do not realize how it can turn around depending upon the success of that book.

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