Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Love of Real Books

There is a thing about books which makes me want to go back to those days when we didn't have a computer, only Doordarshan on TV and lots of books. When I was in school which wasn't exactly a long time ago in actual years but really ancient history in technology years, the only thing we used to do with a computer was either type in MS-Dos commands or play that car game that was a glitch in the Windows ’98. The rest of the time… we used to read – Real Books!

You know those things with either soft or hard bound covers, stitched down the middle at the back or stuck together with gum that hold real pages made out of paper and imprinted with ink? Those are called Books.

There develops a kind of emotional attachment to books that only a long-time reader can understand. Over time, it becomes difficult to spend free time without a book in the hand. It becomes impossible to take a coffee or loo break without continuing and finishing the chapter you began during breakfast. If the book is very good, it often becomes hard to even switch off the bedside lamp even though you know that you’re going to wake up so late that someone or the other is going to shout at you for it. You put on the lights in the middle of the night because you can’t sleep without reading those last two hundred pages which are seducing you from the table top. You cannot imagine a Sunday without a good book and coffee. Your vacation luggage consists of more books than the number of clothes you've packed. You take breaks from studying during exams by reading your novel and then forget all about the exams. You ultimately read so many books that there comes a time when you can hardly distinguish between what’s real and what’s not; it becomes Inception!

Some of us have this special place in our heart for real books. Now what with technology and all, it’s just easier to order e-books and they’re cheaper too it seems, but some of us just can’t manage to get the feel of a book while reading it on a steel-covered machine. We are that breed of readers who prefer pure-blooded books and I’m not against the Mudbloods or anything but reading in the harsh light without the warm glow of the lamp, holding hard steel instead of soft paper and feeling the scratches on metal instead of dog-eared pages don’t exactly appeal to us.

Well, I’m one of those who are orthodox in the ways of reading and I’m sure there are many others who prefer it this way.

Here are a few lines that just flew out at the end of the post:

The Way I like It

Ruffling pages, smelling sweet
From the age old dust of yore.
The musty scent of history
And weight of decades past;
Arouse In me a gentle lad
Who loves to lose it all,
To a few pages of print
Than to a machine of iron wrought.

How do you like your books; Real or Virtual? Do share your thoughts.