My Love Affair With Books

Featured, Reading / Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

I don’t remember the exact time in my life.

That time I first picked up a book. Smelled the pages, inhaled the story, and fell in love. I must have been 5.

I have never stopped loving since then. Books have been the companions who I know will never abandon me. I can trust books – waiting patiently for me, accepting my flaws because they judge you not. You don’t have to be perfect for a book. You are enough as you are.

I know I will never be too much, too intense, for a book. A book will accept me and share its deepest secrets. Freely. Lovingly.

Today is World Book Day – the day that Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died.

The last time I read a Shakespeare play was during my Master’s. I remember reading ‘Macbeth’ and will never forget Lady Macbeth’s anguished guilt when she says, ‘Out damned spot, out!’ How many spots do we have on our own soul? We wish we could do the same, don’t we?

I wept over Hamlet’s morbidity and despair. When he said, “O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,” I nodded and wished the same.

The thing is, every day is a Book Day for me. I read every day. I read wherever I can—on the Metro, at the doctor’s, waiting for friends to arrive, in cafes. 
Books have given me my most favorite memories. (Grammar be damned. I will use two superlatives here because that’s what I feel now)

– When my friend, Swati Nair, and I would spend our weekends browsing Landmark bookstore. Lazy afternoons piling up books, sorting and selecting, and then settling into reading them over the evening.

– Us sitting together and reading one book in Sanya, China, as a storm raged outside, leaving us with just one book. Siddharth Shanghvi’s ‘Last Song Of Dusk.’

– My sister and I reading together in bed – she with her thrillers and me with what she calls “unreadable” books. A tradition that we no longer follow as we have drifted apart these last few years.

– My mom and I continuing to read together on Sundays – she with her Kannada books and advising me to read Thomas Hardy and ‘Thelma,’ her all-time favorite classic, and Bengali literature.

– One evening in a quiet Spanish village, sitting in the town square with my Kindle, hearing the church bells ring and feeling you are utterly blessed.

And you are.

A book is a blessing.

Today, I hope you will spend some time with a book. I already am. ‘Joyful Wisdom’ by Yongey Minchur Rinpoche.

Please, tell me your most favorite book? And who is your favorite writer?

Pictures: I have a house around books. I can’t go too far without seeing a book.

2 Replies to “My Love Affair With Books”

  1. You do have a house around books. And it feels so good to be there surrounded by the bookshelves which seem to be calling to me. Waiting for my next visit.

  2. Sanya and that book somehow just went together perfectly. And I love how you say you have a house around books. So apt and dreamy too.

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