Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Day 8 - The love of reading, not of books.

I've always said I love books.  With a lot of bibliophile friends, I'm getting to read many articles on the love of books.  And with this, it made me think - is it books I love, or just the act of reading?

The more I think of it, the more it comes to me that I don't feel any particular affinity towards books.  I don't go crazy when I go to a bookstore, like many book-lovers do. I don't care for book-fairs or book-exhibitions.  If someone says to me excitedly, "Omg, a book sale is on there, you going?"  I'll be all, "Yawn, I don't know..."   I don't spend thousands of rupees on books that just line my bookshelves, waiting to be read.  In fact, for the kind of reader that I am, my bookshelf is quite sparse.   I can go into a bookstore, browse for hours, and come back without buying a single book.   In fact, book-lovers who know the kind of reader I am will not believe me if I tell them that I haven't even visited several iconic bookstores in Bangalore.  It's  not that I don't want to go - it is just that I couldn't be less bothered.  

It could be the remnants of a childhood habit - we grew up with a lack of space at home.  Though I probably had more books than what all my friends put together owned, I never had enough for what I wanted.  But then the practical problems of lack of space and lack of money was brought to my notice quite early on, and the library became my best friend. 

So the habit of not buying books has become so ingrained in me, that I still do not do it.  And probably as a result of that, I've never really developed the craze for owning books.

All I want is a good book to read.  Whether it is an e-book or a physical book (though I still favour physical books) I'll read it.  Even if you hand me a sheaf of papers stapled together, I'll read it if the story hooks me.  I don't care for book covers.  I don't buy books looking at their book covers.  And I don't care whether I own a book or not.  I just want to read it.  I just want to get that story inside my head.  I want to make the contents of the book mine.  

And that craze - of wanting to read, just read.... of getting the book in my hands, turning the first page, and drowning in it... now that is an all-consuming craze. 


Anu said...

I loved this post! I am your twin when it comes to reading. I can read the encyclopedia, a few pages from a newspaper, or a book on my to-read list, and be equally engrossed in all of them. I remember many a bus ride that I spent riveted to a local magazine or school textnook that I happened to find in my bag. The library has been a cherished friend all through the years.

parijata said...

I am totally with you here. Even I don't buy books that are real classics that make me go back to them again and again.

Nice to see you posting everyday. I was missing your posts. Now even I am inspired to write a post everyday for at least a week :-)

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