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|Plinky| On finishing books

It is inevitable to not stumble upon a book that sounds great but that you just can’t bring the muster to finish. Sadly, Benazir Bhutto might be next.

My reading choices used to be quite limited. To be honest I was very picky, and still today, I tend to go in periods (as with everything else) of what to read. But when I do pick up a book and flip the first ten pages – I can’t help feeling obligated to finish. Finishing a book that I find really difficult implicitly means jumping a few pages here or there – and it always makes me wonder if I truly can say that I’ve read the book afterwards.

Lately I’ve been trying to break new ground. Easier said than done, perhaps. Up until recently I was very into historical fiction – old mysteries of ancient books/legends – for a while I even snowed in on witch-related stories (much thanks to the wonderful tv-series Charmed). But I’ve also started to read some autobiographies, classical suspence novels and also gone back to my old favourite author Stephen King. But if I said it was easy, it isn’t. It’s hard to find books that really grabs your attention – and when something does, I tend to stick with that author/genre for a few more books.

At the beginning of this year, I entered a book circle in my town, and the reading table is filled with a lot of ”true stories” from africa, middle-east etc. So, I fell onto Benazir Bhuttos’ autobiography ”Daughter of the East” some time ago. It had gotten great reviews and I was hoping it would be as interesting and inspiring as some of the other middle-east/asian books I’ve read. For example, I loved ”Wild Swans” by Jung Chang. I’ve come 20 % into ”Daughter’s of the East” and I’m trying to force myself to pick it up again. I even left it to read ”The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield inbetween, but now it’s even harder to imagine finishing Benazir Bhuttos praised life story.

Whenever I meet any of my old classmates, they are all surprised to know my final choice of career. Me, as an electrical engineer? Who could have guessed…


When I grew up, I didn’t have any thought of working within the field of power technology. It was much thanks to my father that I tumbled into the path of studying to be an electrical engineer, and because of his encouragement that I came to end up working for one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of power technology devices.

Throughout my childhood, like many, I’ve had a lot of different dreams for my future. Among others, I’ve imagined myself as a baker, designer, hotel owner, physicist, psychiatrist, librarian… but not an engineer.

But one thing is for sure, work within the electricity business is something that ”runs in the family”. My father and uncle is are electricians. My aunt is an electrical engineer (in fact, she studied the same programme at the same university as I did – only 20 or so years ago).

When I finished High School in 2007 I applied to a bachelor in computer science in Manchester, as well as an application to a librarian programme in Sweden. It was not until July the same year, well passed the application due date, that my father convinced me to apply late to the electrical engineering programme at University West. ”That’s where your aunt went (and your uncle tried).”

As it happens, I cancelled my application to Manchester, and got enrolled at University West as a student of electrical engineering.

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Do you remember your first contact with a computer (?), that machine that you’re probably sitting at right this moment.

365.203 – Concave At Computer Lab

I don’t know if I could be considered part of the generation that grew up with computers – I wouldn’t say so. I believe my first contact with a computer was through Middle School. I remember that we were working on religions, and we were supposed to write an assignment of a freely chosen country – I chose India. At that time, the school I went to had this database of information; I suppose quite similar to Wikipedia in that day – or that is the similarity that first comes to mind. In that day there were no such things as copyright – I can see myself, 10 years old, naively printing article texts, cutting them out and gluing them onto colored paper and called it my own. I can’t remember my teacher ever saying anything about it.

After that, all the way through the rest of Middle School, the only thing I used the computer for were those community sites – like the Swedish Lunarstorm – and I remember how I started to have a go at HTML, I think I even was pretty good at it, on that level.

When I started High School we got or own laptops (!), it was a private school in the northern Sweden, it was also the year I moved to live away from my parents – which was an experience in itself. My first own computer, and I was 15 years old. I believe that was the time I’d consider starting calling me a ”regular user” of this machine that has completely changed how we interact and look upon the world. I started using word processors for assignments in school, and not only that – I also took the step into online gaming. Ever since, I’ve taken more and more of my daily chores at the computer, today the computer is my foremost tool for doing my job! How would I manage without one? …

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