Reading helps you think differentlyGrishma Bista on why she prefers reading physical books over digital ones, her favourite genres, and why reading is crucial in her line of work.
Grishma Bista, a lawyer and the general manager of Elite Himalayan Adventures, first started developing a reading habit when she was just nine. She began by reading short books, the ones she could finish quickly. Bista then moved on to reading adventure and mystery novels. This, she says, allowed her to relish and relate to the characters.
In this interview with the Post, Bista talked about her therapeutic relationship with reading, the kind of reader she is, and her favourite books.
What kind of reader are you? Do you prefer to read in one go or take your time finishing a book?
I need solitude while reading. I am the kind of reader who loves the physical feel of the book, enjoys the smell it emits, and takes her time visualising and relishing the book. This is why it usually takes me anywhere between two weeks to a month to finish a book. I find the entire process of reading very therapeutic.
Which genres do you enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?
I especially enjoy reading self-help books and philosophical books. I also like reading mystery and thriller books. Basically, a mix of everything. But the genre I absolutely avoid is romance. I feel those kinds of books are too fantasy-driven. And I personally don’t prefer that. Even while reading fiction books, I like to understand the writer and their perspective while seeing the world they write about from my own philosophy. Perhaps this is why I don’t enjoy fantasy books.
You are also a fitness enthusiast and a master fitness instructor. Do you not prefer reading fitness books?
Yes, I have been in the fitness industry for a decade now. But I like to practice fitness rather than read about it.
As a practising lawyer, how important is it to read curriculum books? Do books apart from curricula help you get better at what you do?
We often come across the phrase ‘read between the lines’. And this couldn’t be truer for lawyers. We can base an entire case on one ambiguous word or a sentence. And to be able to do so, you cannot rely solely on curriculum books. Of course, you need to know the right laws but limiting to those books narrows one’s viewpoint. To think out of the box, one must read other books. Reading helps you think differently.
What is the one interesting thing that you learned from a book you read recently?
I currently work as the general manager at Elite Himalayan Adventures, and my role requires me to go through books on law every now and then. Recently, while going through a curriculum book, I discovered how trivial bank eligibility laws discriminate against single and unmarried women. I learned that our banking laws are designed in such a way that it is very difficult for a single woman to get bank loans. Whereas the same is much easier for a married woman because she can present her husband as collateral.
What are your favourite books that you never tire of recommending and why?
‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari
‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides
‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck’ by Mark Manson
‘Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy’ by Sadhguru
These are my four favourite books at the moment. ‘Sapiens’ because it is a book about how humans have evolved. It also talks about the ability of humans to create language, which is what I found very fascinating. Whereas ‘The Silent Patient’ is an underrated fiction mystery and thriller book. You just can’t predict where the story is headed. Lastly, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck’ and ‘Inner Engineering’ are both self-help books that give a new perspective to look into things. The two books are both optimistic while also being realistic.
Can you name one book that you think today’s youth must read and why?
I don’t know if it would be interesting for everyone, but I would want to mention the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson. It is a short book that one can finish in a day. This is the book you should turn to whenever you feel demotivated or low. This book gives you positive affirmations that wherever you are is the right place to be, just what today’s youths need to hear.