Sunday, April 12, 2009

Walden - I give up!

With much bravado I began reading Walden by Thoreau. After completing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ayn Rand's Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged - I thought I can take on anything.

I tried reading this book off and on for the last 3 months. During this time I finished reading a lot of books ( I read in parallel and have atleast 2 books that I keep alternating ) - but I never got beyond 20 pages of Walden. 

I can safely apply a quote of my friend, Akbar - "it is a lot of tedious nonsense" - he used it for the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. 

Thoreau brags about his minimalistic life. But he has not seen the iPod, iPhone, Audi A4, Wii, Internet, Kulfi icecream and so many good things in life - why the heck will I let go off enjoying them or not work hard towards achieving these pleasures.

Second reason why I gave up was I never quite got the writing style of Thoreau. I would read a page then at the end of it will realize - man I have been dreaming of something while reading it - It was like reading the Power Electronics book once again. I would again read the page and still it will not make sense. After the reading streak in me that began with Ulysses in Dec 2007 ( when I started commuting by Volvo to work ) - this is the first book I am giving up. Sorry Thoreau - I have to disagree with you on your philosophy, your writing and your style. Perhaps English and Literature enthusiasts will praise you all over the world - but not me. I stand by my statement. 

Now where is my minimalistic iPod - that I like !


  1. Every book is not meant for everyone. You might have a large appetite and may have appreciated all the books so far you have come across, until this one.


  2. Aha! That's why I stick to Wodehouse, which is a lot of extremely funny and enjoyable nonsense :)

    A funny coincidence, which is neither relevant nor funny, is Walden wrote this book while living on the shore of a pond which is very near where I live in Boston. I want to go and see it as it's supposed to be very beautiful during fall. This pond is now named after him. Walden Pond.

  3. When you go to Walden - please take a print out of my blog post and show it to Thoreau's Ghost! Thank you :)

  4. oh i so agree.. bought this book over 10 years ago and never got beyond 10 pages. Total tedious writing i say!