“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” – Mark Twain
Books all by themselves have some mysterious power in them. You may read them or you might not, but every time you see a huge stack of books somewhere, you feel something inside- something alights in you (Hell! The phrase “huge stack of books” makes me want to abandon this post and start reading this instant!). They might even be in a language you understand but they do something to you.
Every time you enter a library you feel totally humbled. And it’s not just libraries, it is also bookstores or even personal bookshelves.
All the old world wisdom and modern theories around you overwhelm you.
Maybe the sign “Keep Quiet” is not even necessary in a library since as soon as you enter, you are rendered speechless by the books sitting quietly on the shelves in spite of bursting with knowledge themselves.
So what inspired this post is my newly made Potterhead friends about whom I talked about in the previous post.
All of them are, needless to say, readers.
We were sending each other pictures of our bookshelves and Harry Potter memorabilia when I realized how much I actually love books.
Not reading books, but books in general.
I love to hold a -if I may say so- freshly pressed book in my hand; feeling the glossy cover. At the same time, I am also fond of adopting old books. The yellowed pages and cracked spine add to the beauty, and leafing through a book which has already been read by someone, perhaps they have left some mark of their own- a highlighted paragraph, a small scribbled note in the corner- sweeps me over.
I like to smell books. I take a large paperback novel, hold it in front of my face and flip all the pages quickly to inhale the best smell ever. I am glad that I am not the only one either. I have so many friends who love to do the same.
I usually lug around a very heavy backpack with me which is full of various textbooks and notebooks (study material that is) and I absolutely detest the burden it puts on my shoulder as well as back. But when I am reading a very interesting novel, even if it is 500+ pages, I don’t mind carrying it around at all. The day you don’t see me complaining about the weight of my backpack is the day I have a wonderful book in there.
Yes, earlier I used to have one every day, but now I read a lot on my phone too. So I don’t often carry a real hardbound/paperback novel. Even if I am reading it, I mostly do that at home.
Following is a really clichéd paragraph which you’ve read a 100 times in debates about ‘Books vs. E-books’ but I’m gonna write it anyway because it is from my innermost heart of heart:
I really miss reading those real books, the smell of the pages and feeling of turning a page, feeling the texture of the covers and lying down, holding the book in any way I want is something I’ll really, truly miss if e-publishing becomes the new way of publishing.
I mean, explain to me, how can anything, ever replace this??
[Photo Credits: all of my Potterhead friends. and me of course, the last two are mine! 😀 ]