- First, by following breathlessly, the events and the characters without stopping to notice the details, the quickening pace of reading sometimes hurtling the story beyond the last page — as when I read Vonnegut, Maugham, O'Henry or Salinger.
- Secondly, by careful exploration, scrutinising the text to understand its ravelled meaning, finding pleasure in merely the sound of the words or the clues, which the words did not wish to reveal, or which I suspected was hidden deep in the story itself, something too terrible or too marvellous to be looked at.
The second kind of reading — which had something of the quality of reading stories — I discovered in Lewis Carroll, Vikram Seth, Vassanji, Tagore and Nabokov. Reading, to me, set one free, it gave one a freedom to explore thoughts and the world outside the context they lived in. This has its retributions in the political world we live in, from the banning of writers like Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen to the censorship of countless authors ranging from Neruda to Gorky over the years. But not only totalitarian governments fear reading. Readers are bullied in school yards and in colleges as much as in government offices and prisons.