Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bookless in Chennai

It is a strange feeling to see that there are no books in your house (mother's house, to be precise) as all the books have been parceled off to my present house (the house I inhabit with my husband). I have a week here in Chennai and I'm left with no books to see, read, revel or smell. Just the presence of books in one's living space makes one feel as though a group of good friends are around. Sometimes even seeing them fills me with a sense of well-being but alas, now there are none.



The title of this post is inspired by a book by Shashi Tharoor, Bookless in Baghdad.Well, the title is quite a fascinating one, don't you think. I first assumed that the book is an account of a horrendous time in the author's life when he was struck in a place without books and I imagined all sorts of negative and sob stories where the author will talk about the loss of books. But instead the book is a collection of Tharoor's essays which was previously published. The book recounts the experience of Tharoor with an assortment of books, read and written by him. If one reads the book, one becomes quite familiar with Tharoor's opinion about books. He has also chosen to attack his reviewers in this book.

Well, let's leave charming Tharoor aside and talk of my plight -- being bookless in Chennai! Now, someone might wonder, Why doesn't she read something on the internet. Frankly, I'm getting a bit irritated with the internet. Reading books is something for me to do without much ado (Ado, here refers to switching the internet on, waiting for it to connect, clicking on various items, etc.) Well, my dose of literature is limited to reading the newspaper and its rich supplements for which I am thankful. I do listen to plenty of music in the computer, for which thankfully I don't need the internet!

I have always been surrounded by books and it does seem a tad vague without having to stare at books and involuntarily exclaim, "I should read these books sometime."

A sample of the music I am presently listening:
                                                 George Jones: You're Still on my Mind


Well, have you been bookless and distraught?

Image: Internet

24 comments:

  1. i feel you...i am always in need of a book...i like to visit used bookstores...never too far away from a book...smiles.

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    1. Considering the number of books that are unread, I resist buying books ( a temporary condition).

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  2. I just go out and buy books if I am without books, even magazines are fine. Actually, I pack the books first and then my clothes if I am travelling.

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    1. Hmmmm. To reduce the weight of my bags, I had parceled the few books that I bought in Kerala. Sigh.

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  3. "Just the presence of books in one's living space makes one feel as though a group of good friends are around." You've captured that comforting and stimulating feeling that I associate with my grandfather's library in our old house. Like you, I grew up surrounded by books. I think I may have read more than I should be playing outside. I was the youngest in the family, and all my sibs were too old to play with me. So I sought solace in books, which became my friends and playmates. :)

    I'm also not a big fan of reading online. More than just reading, it's a tactile and olfactory experience as well. The smell of books seem to take me to an imaginary place. And I have the habit of highlighting passages I like, which is not quite the same as highlighting on the computer screen. But then again, my mother plans to give me a Kindle. I might have to get used to reading that way.

    I hope you survive this bookless phase, Mrs. Sus. Anyway, you'll be reunited with your old friends when you go back to your own home. ;)

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    1. Soon I shall be reunited with my books, Age. The tactile and olfactory experience of a book adds to the richness of having a book in one's hand :)

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  4. Susan Deborah, Hi!
    In every town and small village in US there sits a Public Library. My little city of Naples FL has seven libraries. And, when I am downtown with 'time to kill' I slip into the library and, yes, I feel safe, alert, and surrounded by friends, hundreds of thousands of them!

    I become lost from myself there. Of course, as with all good things there is a price to pay. My price is that I have an appointment at 2 PM...and it is now 3:30 PM. Time has no meaning, nor ever does time have TIME--in the library.

    Answer your question?
    Thank for all the nice writing you send around to my places!
    PEACE!
    Steve E

    PEACE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly the public libraries are way to far and I should spend an hour to reach them :-( Learning to undo the done!

      Waiting to meet the books.

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  5. I always bring a few books with me when I travel. Also, I take my kindle. Is it an addiction, to feel so lost if books aren't available? If so, I'm an addict.

    Sad to see the empty shelves. Hope you spend some quality time with your parents. Enjoy.

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    1. Time is abundant and I am also learning to love this phase of in-activeness.

      Hope you're well and happy, dear Myrna.

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  6. I am surrounded by books but I can't find the time to read, which is quite sad.

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    1. Well, most of us are so. I have some books which are untouched too. But then, one cannot read every book that occupies our shelf!

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  7. I carry books everywhere but I don't find the time to read these days.

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  8. yes I am at the moment, there was a time about 3-4 years back when i had books , now with work and all dont have time , so am a bit lost from the books .. have to get back into it,

    Bikram's

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    Replies
    1. Please do get back. I'm sure your books are missing you :)

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  9. Gotta have those books! I love reading blogs, like yours, and articles on the internet, but the comfort found in holding/reading a great book is matchless.
    Great reflection!

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    1. Yes Martha, it's a great feeling. Glad to see you here. Hope you're happy and joyous.

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  10. Thank you for welcoming me aboard!

    I hope you will find a way to enjoy the time at your mom's, even though it can be so challenging to find yourself bookless.

    I wish you a peaceful week,

    Ioana

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    1. Great to see you here, Loana. yes, there are many things to indulge in but nothing can replace books.

      Wishing you the best as well :)

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  11. Hi susan,

    Just now subscribed to your blog and it's great. Keep the good work. Have a good time here!!

    luv
    suba

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    Replies
    1. Dear Suba,

      Thanks for coming by my blog. Great to read your comment. Thanks for your warm words -- It is much appreciated.

      Delete
  12. How funny to read your post as I was just thinking these past few days about how much I miss my books. They are all in storage, except for a few favorites. I miss them incredibly, as well as my photo albums.;))
    Have a great week dear Susan,
    xoxo

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    1. I know. When one changes houses, there are so many missing links like this. Sometimes I don't feel like opening stuff in storage and I also cannot be without opening!!!

      Hope you are settling in well in your new environs, dear Zuzana.

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  13. Exactly My thoughts. Somehow I never prefer reading a book on the net. I always need it in my hand!

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