Thursday, June 2, 2011

On Books

I love books. I adore them. I worship them. When it comes to me, you can put any synonym of  the word ‘love’ between the words ‘I’ and ‘books’. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say something positively scandalous: I think books are sexy. Not sexual; no, nothing of that sort. But yes, they appeal to me just as much as tall reedy Italian men with smouldering eyes do. I could marry books. Agreed, a state such as that would probably be considered as an euphemism for spisterhood rather than an example of the institution of marriage. Nevertheless, I need and want books desperately, frantically, incessantly.

All that being said, I have a confession: I have hardly read any books in the past two years. Not even the ones I bought recently.I can see Les Misérables, Crime and Punishment, Jane Eyre, even Poe’s short story collection, looking at me reproachfully. Shantaram is pissed that I read him only once (he’s also pissed about the fact that he is kept on the same shelf as chick-lits). Wodehouse is wondering when I’m going to start the second Jeeves book I own. Arundhati Roy has given up on me (But then she also seems to have given up on writing). I’m afraid I have gone from being a super-reader to being a sloth-with-a-book *gasp*.

I don’t really know what happened. I just stopped reading. There is no proper explanation for it. I moved to T.V. Shows and movies (neither of which, I must admit, have the same effect as a good book). Nonetheless I kept buying books, just for the heck of it. Like I said, I love books; the idea of knowing, having, collecting, and sensing books makes me happy. I love the smell that comes from them, the texture of the paper, the small black print, the beautiful, beautiful covers, the joy that comes in cracking their spines, the feeling you get when you write your name in a book...I cherish these moments, I love reliving them... Anyway, now going back to the original topic - these days I don’t read like I used to. There was a time when I was a voracious reader. Now I’m the bibliophilic-equivalent of a hermit.

I wonder if there’s still hope for me. Can I go back to the original glory days? Can I get my reading streak back? Tough questions I don’t seem to have an answer to. Of course, like any pseudo-optimist, I like to think I can change. My friends – who are as shrewd as they are sweet – have, indirectly, taken upon themselves to get me back on track. They got two Stephen Fry’s and one Dahl (My Uncle Oswald – a book I’ve wanted for a long time) for my birthday. Even my lethargic soul cannot resist something so tantalizing.

Friends, I must say, are miracle-workers. I finished My Uncle Oswald today. Admitted, it is a slim book – but for someone who hasn’t finished a novel in two years, just finishing something is a victory in its own right.

Maybe one day I’ll read books larger than my textbooks. I just hope that doesn’t happen soon. I’m in the middle of my sem finals - I’m not even supposed to blog right now!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to cast forlorn looks towards my book shelf and then start studying. Sigh.


  1. i've kept trying to quell my dimming hope by telling myself that it is superbly possible for me to return to my glory days... back when i could (literally) stick my nose in (a) book(s) and read and read and read for days straight without eating or moving (sometimes sleeping, lol). but i guess i've kinda accepted that my ongoing heavily-intoxicating seemingly neverending (at some point) affair with paperbacks are winding down to a close. it's sad but i really don't ever have the time to anymore. le sigh.

    truth be told, i read blogs more than anything else nowadays. good luck with your finals!! i miss being a student. those truly were the best of times.

    you write so well (: (: ending up on your page was such a fortunate stumble! p.s, i love the title "forever fall."

  2. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. It feels so nice to be appreciated :)

    Just knowing that someone out there calls my blog a 'fortunate stumble' fills me with blankety warmth :)

    Do stop by again!

  3. This post makes me feel ashamed for reading everything on my kindle now. I mean, I look at the dozen books I stocked up on before I got an e-reader and I think to myself "When will I ever read a PAPER book again?" I read on my commute to work though and a button click with one hand is easier than a page turn with two. It's amazing what we give up for convenience and instant gratification.

    I'll think of you and your love for books when I donate the thousands of books in my house to some public libraries this summer and I will be happy that there are people out there who love paper books as much as you do!


  4. This happened to me, too! For years! But I'm reading again. It just took getting back into it. I started off rereading old favorites and getting sucked into them and reading for hours at a time, and then it just slipped back into my life. You can make it a part of your life again, at some point, I promise.

  5. Wow. It feels good to know I'm not the only one stuck in a "book-rut" :D

  6. If I could marry books..I would. Unfortunately it is not yet legal in any state in the USA nor in any country...that I'm aware of.

    Books complete me.

    What a wonderful post :)

    If I may ask, where are you from? It's obvious you're fluent in English but the words you use and the way you use them suggest you're not American, or at least not originally.

    Keep up the great work!!

    (P.S.I love Poe and his many Poe-isms. I also have recently gotten into the many Hispanic writers, I enjoy so many of them!)

  7. Hey! I'm bad grammar shows, doesn't it? :P

  8. I was quite the reader until "people" (mainly my profs) started mandating what I had to read and when. Now I just don't read. It's like my own little underground rebellion where I sock it to the "man" (except the only person really being hurt by all this is me).

    I graduate August 5th and then I hope to return to my bookshelves. In the meantime, I read blogs. =)

    Great post!