Books have always attracted me. Even when I didn’t read much, I would often find myself halting in front of a book shop, and staring through the glass at the stylishly stacked books – all colourful and beautiful; each one ready to tell a different tale, each one exhibiting a different font style – peering out at me, glorifying the name of the author. Books, I felt, whispered to me in a language I didn’t know I knew – to be picked up and taken home. And, it appeared, that not many people were capable of hearing that inviting plea, or perhaps, only a selected few were spoken with. Duly brushing aside my imaginations, I would shake my head off these sounds, and move ahead. Only a deep corner of my heart knew that it was a plea, and a whisper, but not from the book store.
Today I know I love reading and read as if my life depends on it. I don’t stop when I am travelling, I don’t stop when I am in office, and I don’t stop when people around me talk in high decibels. And, this is made even more convenient by my kindle. Hundreds of books are available to me all the time now. Words demystify themselves at my command. The bookmark makes itself available at the slightest touch of my finger. Highlighting passages, lines, and words have never been easier. And I can read in dark too; it comes with an inbuilt back-lit screen. It is as close to magic as anything can get where reading is concerned! It truly is much more than a book. Though a constant fear of losing it all or getting it damaged keeps hovering over my head, but that isn’t such a big issue, if I am careful.
Having said that, books in their physical and original form haven’t yet released me from their clutches. I still order books in the form they were meant to be, and wait eagerly for the delivery when these can easily be downloaded by a click of the mouse. Just a look at the cover of a newly arrived book and its heavenly fragrance send me into a trance. Some people might declare me psychologically unstable, if they witness me looking at the front and back cover of a book several times, before I go ahead and open it. Unlike many other readers, I like to start the book from the very first page, and even read the section where copyright infringement laws are mentioned.
I find a book so much more personal. I scribble down on its pages – thoughts that might well be considered useless, ideas that I am sure owe their genesis to some or the other movie, new goals as the deadlines for the older ones keep expiring all the time, and even grocery items to be bought. I don’t just read these books, I interact with them. I confide in them.
I am not really advocating books over e-books; I love reading from my kindle. However, I might never shift to it completely. My study table is full of books littered all around, and that sight howsoever untidy makes my exhaustion from the day’s work vanish away immediately. And, it somehow even inspires me!