Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tell me, is it going to be bye-bye book shelf?

Source: uk.gizmodo

I might not read books as much anymore but books will always be one of the things I feel inherently passionate about. And when I say books, i mean the whole process. First spotting a book's name, hearing a friend talk about it or reading about it somewhere followed by the must read urge. Then trying your luck during the next trip in cycle/scooty to the neighbouring Shakti lending library/platform second hand book shop or tapping the friend's network.

Grad school library was a Paradise. After the semester exam, the roomie and I will rush to the library. We wouldnt have slept the whole week for all you know but we will make the trip, rushing directly from the lab or the exam class room. That univ. library remains my favorite simply because it had a floor(or a semi floor, since it was some form wooden floor within a floor) for each alphabet. Quite a scary place. If I had been killed by a avalanche of books, noone would have come to know. American libraries also introduced me to concept of checkouts of unlimited number of books and 3 renewals. The county library people are misers they seem to have a 300 books limit. And you can only keep the book for 2.5 months including the 3 renewals. Grad school library checked out books for six months!

Once you have the book, if the book is of the unputdownable kind, for the next 24 hours the book and I( and I am sure several of you readers) will suddenly act as if we have janam janam ki rishtaa. Amma would say, etha pada pusthakithala katlame? Translation: Why can't you show the same enthusiasm for the course books? May be I will, may be if Dan brown wrote IC design, may be then.

A slight detour. The 'unputdownable' book doesnt mean it is the greatest book. The great books are the ones which years after you will recall, you will think of the characters. In case of Dan brown and Sidney sheldon, you might not most probably recall even the name of the character and the books might not make it to your top ten list but will make just tag of 'unputdownable'. infact the only reason we hold their books is because of that one single attribute.

Reading books more often physically drains me. I enter their world and the wierd characters from the book are roaming around in my head confusing me when I am talking to real life persons. Like reading maximum city, with Honey the cross-dressing dancer and Satish the Gangster's life running in my head while talking to my parents. You go through the emotional roller-coster ride of the characters.

After finishing the books follows the funnest part in the process, the immediate urge to discuss it with a friend. I no longer have the luxury of this. I had like minded friends right upto my gradschool to discuss. During those days, friends used to urge you read to a book just so they can discuss it with you. I still have L in my life but the reading as well as the discussion seems an occasional affair these days. Once a year affair:(

I still make once in a month trip to the library. But all I seem to do is just renew the books and then return them when I reach the maximum number of renewals. I read the first pages that gives me an idea of what lies ahead. And I take a deep pensive breadth at what I am missing out on not reading further. But I dont know what it is, I no longer read a book unless otherwise I am in a plane.

It might be the blogs or the fact I dont like reading books in piece-meal and unlike school/univ./gradschool days, I no longer get chunk of holidays. I forced myself to read a book in piece-meal as a result heathcliff still remains in my head as an irrational sad grumpy sadistic human being. May be even if I finish the book, he will still be irrational. Its been year and a half and I havent found out. I dont know if I will ever get to know.

Part of the process of reading a book is to lie on the couch/bed, covering yourself with a duvet(no,who has time to make hot choclate,not my lazy posterior) and flipping through the pages. I have a preference for hard covers because they appeal to my aesthetics, some weak-hearted people prefer paper backs for they are cheaper and lighter.

This form might change/most likely will change. But something tells me just like I never warmed up to google reader and prefer to visit the blog pages(you know its like going to a personal space, adds to the mood), I dont think I will warm up to these kindle readers, however sleek it looks.


  1. Enjoyed this post Sachitha! Sadly, my reading habit is slowly dying down. Like you I like reading books the old fashioned way, but have this habit of getting lost in the rigmarole called life.

  2. Suman,
    thanks, you have some kind words always.

    you did participate in laksh's thoughtful thursdays, right? with a kid in picture, how does one allot the whole chunk of time? i guess you have to take the piecemeal approach till they reach an age where they wont need your attention all the time,ella.