As a child I did not read much. Reading back then, was limited to the tomes of textbooks that every Indian adolescent had to deal with – whether they liked it or not. Summer vacation library membership was my only other source of reading. In those times, I never felt like asking my parents for Rs.100, so I can buy a book. But as soon as I finished school, I decided to pursue it more rigorously. I started with a few books that I bought off the streets in Vasant Lok in Delhi, and exchanged them with my peers in the hostel. The college library hardly carried any interesting content. But even then I was never deprived of content to read.
My reading picked momentum in college, but it was only after I moved to US that I got obsessed with it. I realized that I could buy books off half.com for as low a $1 !! And if I buy more books from the same seller – then I pay a standard price for shipping. Believe me – the day I realized this magic – my happiness had no bounds. I saved every penny and dime and made a monthly budget to buy books – in school my budget was limited to $10 and now it is sort of unlimited – as long as I am using a coupon from Borders/Barnes and Nobles.
I have patterns in my readings. I cruise through multiple authors – pick one that I enjoy – read his entire collection. When I am saturated, I start my hunt again. I am not into classics, but I draw parallels between classics and contemporary literature whenever I find an opportunity. I also take book suggestions very seriously. I always have a wish list running on Amazon.com, full of books recommended by peers, friends and professors.
I am one of those readers who seek a relationship with the book. Hence the concept of library is not appealing to me. The book has changed so many hands, emotions, feelings and glances – the thought disturbs my mind. I want my book to be mine – I shall choose who gets to read it. And I shall care for them – almost like a piece of jewelry. I have often dreamt of owning a house, where there is one room – just for books, with a rocking chair and a lamp. I like reading everything and anything. I secretly hate the iPad, Kindles and the Nooks – I am worried that they will take away my books from me some day. I hope I am dead before that happens.
I could not have a married a man who does not read. So I am glad, he is my reading companion. A human is incomplete if he/she does not read. There are many lives to live many roles to play –just through these books.
Why this long note on books and reading- coz yesterday I bought one after 4 months. I am reading J.M.Coetzee’s Disgrace. It is very engaging. Looking forward to read more of his works.