There is no other pleasure than escaping into the world created by books. The new glossy paperbacks or the old frumpy hardbound sitting grudgingly on the top shelf of the library: you just need to pick up one that catches your eye and disappear into it. The sight of books in libraries, how do you feel? “So many books, so little time”, isn’t it?
Buy and read or borrow and read, what pleases you? Old books are like family elders, time tested and reliable. If they look weathered, they must have been picked up several times over the years. ‘Likable’, quite likely. New books smell of publishing houses, posh malls, airports or Amazon. No trials allowed! A great risk but an adventure anyway. But before the advent of the non book reading culture, people bought books, borrowed books from friends, libraries, and went to those old book houses in the streets behind Universities to dig out second hand favourites. Nayee Sadak at Delhi, College Street in Kolkata, Book Street in Mumbai, Church Street in Bangalore, Aminabad Book Market in Lucknow… been there done that?
Where do you go?
Libraries? Bookstores? Online?or
Street Hawkers?- Yes, yes the photocopied and the pirated ‘poor print’ ones. But if you are lucky and have no ethical aversion to them, you may find some great reads at dirt cheap prices.
Bookstalls at Railway Stations?- They specialize in all kinds, from sleaze to philosophy, a truly eclectic place for the myriad passengers of the Indian Railways.They cater to all tastes and all pockets.
Bookstalls at Airports?– The cold and plastic airport stalls where most people drop in fashionably so to pick a book for the pleasure of being seen browsing at a bookstore and later through a book. These bookstalls specialize in English stuff, “country” not allowed! So don’t ask for a Premchand or Nirala unless a translation. As the stewardess stows away stuff above your head while giving admirable looks to the man with the ‘book’, men can’t find a better pay off! Women with books don’t get the pilot’s looks though, mind you! I have seen people sashaying in with tomes announcing third world crises, global economic impact on Indian Industry, Kaizen and Ikigai books, but never a Clancy, Sheldon or a Ludlum! So:
“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”
– P.J. O’Rourke
There are books and then there are BOOKS. You read good books and you get into the bad books😬. You may be reading Pulp Fiction or Mushy Romances, Racy Thrillers or Hard core Philosophy, enlightening Biographies or even self help books; its your personal taste. “To each his own”- this conjecture stands firm in my mind as I am no expert to recommend books. Let the book call you, or let your eyes and mind take you to it, but do read… get book-ed, to free yourself from the clutches of the spoken words.
“Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.”
– Mark Twain