Books are backfrom the back-burner

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Oct 2017 12:20:49





BOOK sales are going up steadily, a survey has stated recently. Text books were always on a high, but other books too are catching up, the study has indicated. This is a happy note coming from the world of books, from the zone of stored knowledge, from the area of seekers of higher levels of intelligence. My search for book-lovers has often proved a mixed bag, rewarding as well as frustrating:

It is rewarding as I come across people, young and old, who are deeply interested in books, influenced by books, and impressed by the aroma and charisma of printed word in book form. These people are willing to spend a few rupees on buying books and storing those in a neat fashion in their homes or offices. Then they get lost in the reading and elevate themselves intellectually and creatively. In the lives of some such people, books become an actual and practical support system for their profession or enterprise. If this does not happen, then reading of the books leaves the people enriched emotionally and intellectually well-versed and well-nursed. It is sheer pleasure to get engaged in conversation with such people;

It is frustrating as well, as I also happen to meet people who have not picked up a book in years and have not opened its pages for decades. At least I do not know how to strike a conversation with such people. Of course, they are all good people and can be witty and charming. On many occasions, I find such people endowed with practical wisdom that defies logic. Yet, the overall impression I carry of these people is rather poor and less enlightening or empowering. Such people are my nightmare.

As a child, I never realised how books became integral to my personality and central to my existence. But I remember only one thing -- our house had lots of books, almost everywhere, except, of course, the bathrooms or washrooms. But our kitchen had books. Our sitting rooms had books. Our verandas had books. Our bedrooms had books. Even the cars had books neatly kept on the back seat. Wherever we sat or stood, our hands could reach books and handle and fondle them.

On many occasions, I remember having picked up a book but not read it. I would hold the books for long time without reading. But even those moments were comforting. For, those moments indicated certain fondness and nearness to that friendly, warm things in the hand. Books’ aroma and charisma made much difference to our mood in those days. Growing up with books had its own reward and missing the chance to be with books had its own frustration.

Later, pursuing the profession of journalism offered greater opportunities to be with books and read those with a sense of devotion. Today, there is not one single bored moment in my life, thanks to the books. Computer games have no value in life. Watching television is a strict ‘no no’. But being outdoors roaming under the canopies of trees in a forest with a book in hand, sitting anywhere and opening the book is a hobby whose flavour and flair always remains unparalleled. With such a love affair with books, any news that book sales are going up, makes me extremely happy.
May such findings come in bigger numbers.