Celebrity Bookshelf: ‘The covers of James Hadley Chase books were embarrassing’

Model, actress, psychologist Aditi Govitrikar is interested in understanding the working of the human mind and veers towards books, both fiction and non-fiction, that explore the human mind with all its complexities.

Early beginnings: Aditi started reading at a very young age. She says, “For as long back as I can remember, I have always been a reader. My parents introduced me to reading. Both Mom and Dad have been voracious readers. I have seen them reading a lot and I guess I imbibed the habit from them.”

The first book she recalls reading was The Three Little Pigs. She shares, “I think I was in the first standard and somebody had gifted the book to me. I loved the book because the illustrations were very imaginative.”

And the last book that she read was An Autobiography of a Yogi, and she observes, “Obviously, the two books are completely different. And yet, both have life messages that are very powerful. That is the similarity between the two books.”

Currently hooked: The book that she has just started reading is called ‘An Unquiet Mind’. Aditi elaborates, “It is a memoir of moods and madness. The writer is Kay Redfield Jamison. This book is based on a very interesting story, and that’s why I picked it up. It is basically about a doctor who is an authority on manic depression. Since I am a psychologist and I practice counselling, I thought this would offer me an insight into the mind of somebody who has already gone through manic depression and is treating patients as we speak. To treat mental illness is my endeavour. Therefore I mostly read books that enrich my knowledge and allows me to learn about the human mind.”

Playing favourites: She has many favourite fiction writers, but one that comes to her mind is David Baldacci. She exults, “I enjoy his books. In the non-fiction genre, I like to read Paulo Coelho. There is a whole series of books created by The School of Life. I like reading those books as well.”

Embarrassing reads: She confesses candidly, “The books that I enjoyed reading as a teenager and I used to find embarrassing that time was the series by James Hadley Chase.

And the reason of the embarrassment was the cover of the books. Usually there would be women in bikinis — however the story had nothing to do with the cover. The story used to be a murder mystery or a thriller! I used to cover the book with a newspaper so that I could read it peacefully.”

Setting the pace: Aditi prefers to finish a book in one sitting. But of late, because of time constraints, she takes her time and reads as and when it’s possible

Recommendations for kids: She believes that there are many beautiful books for children but the one she would like to strongly recommend is The Little Prince which is an adaptation of a French book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. “Though it is a very beautiful story of a little boy, one can read this book at any age because it gives you a lot of messages and insights into human nature.”

Must-have books: The must-have books that she would like to see on her shelf are, Autobiography Of A Yogi; Attached by Adam Levine and Rachel Heller — it’s about relationships and helps you know yourself and your partner; The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. a poignant book about being in the present; Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; and The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene.”

Favourite Marathi author: Aditi reads English books but shares that she has read books in Marathi as well. “When I was a child, I used to read my books then I used to finish my dad’s books as well and if I had no books left, I would read the books that my mother used to read which were in Marathi. I have read a lot of PuLa Deshpande books and all the classics in Marathi.”

When the film was better: She enjoys reading a book as much as watching a film. She opines, “The film Bridget Jones Diary was better than the book it was based on.” A voracious reader of books, she not an avid newspaper reader, “but every morning I read the newspaper with a cup of coffee.” Her ambition is to write a book. She signs off with, “It is on my mind. Let’s see how that goes.”