Before I began the blogging challenge, waking up in the morning to prepare self for the day has always been a problem with me. Today I see myself up with the lark, though I am not sure if I could trace the wings of the said bird in the vicinity; the Indian Mynas and pigeons are all I see in my patio.
I am sure you have guessed correctly today’s topic of discussion: B for books. I wonder if to a bibliophile the letter b could ever mean anything else. When I closed my eyes to ruminate for a bit before I start punching away in my laptop, I saw the image of books, stacked neatly on tables and on book shelves. Beautiful folios and hard-binds with blue and red printed covers, myriad titles written in gold letters lie with bated breath for the reader to approach them. I see their heaving bosoms pregnant with dreams that will be transported to the reader once communication with her is established. Thinking this way I wonder if books that animate our world are imbued with life as well? Scientifically speaking such an idea is outrageous; but ask a reader and she will testify to the unmistakable presence of life in books. When we read we touch the miasma of creation emanated from the writer’s mind and frozen between the pages of her book. We read the book and we know how wonderfully creative the writer’s mind has been when she/he gave birth to the tale we now read. The writer’s presence conspicuous by its absence seldom fails to impress upon us the stupendous power of the human mind when inspired with creativity.
If one browses the blog-posts in my blogger page, one will doubtless encounter illimitable references to my love for books in general, and P.G. Wodehouse’s creations in particular. I have often mentioned it to my few book-peers that it is unequivocally Wodehouse who has made me love books. I used to be a reader before I read him, but I wasn’t a voracious one at that. My love for books was temperate: I used read one or two books in a month. But now the habit involves reading at least four to five books in thirty-days. This drastic change in my reading habit was brought upon me by the lovely books of PGW; the more I read him the more I realized the power of literature. Wodehouse’s books convinced me that sitting home and reading is way better than interacting with people you don’t quite like. He convinced me that if given a chance books can become one’s best pals; but most importantly, Wodehouse taught me the virtue of a good laugh. My life thus changed from reading Wodehouse and I paid homage to the great master by reading most of his books available in the market.
As a writer bent on learning the art of creative creation, it behooves me to read every day, and this habit has led me to discover the following lists of books:
The above lists have proved to be immensely helpful in discovering texts that ought to be read. The last few books I tremendously enjoyed have been: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I liked Cold Comfort Farm the best; it’s a domestic comedy set in a quaint little farm in Sussex where things are not quite all right until the heroine Flora Poste arrives therein and does a bit of domestic-wizardry. The characters are delicious and the book a delight to read.
The aftertaste of sweetness and satisfaction came after reading Terry Pratchett as well, probably more so than Cold Comfort Farms, which has a couple of oriental and exotic references to the non-Western world which annoyed me a little. But Good Omens was a delight from first to last. It is an imaginative extravaganza that talks about Armageddon and good and bad angels and a witch called Anges Nutter, whose prophesies are mind-bogglingly “nice and accurate”. I am abashed to state that before Good Omens I haven’t read anything by Pratchett, but I am now ready to rectify that mistake because I have ordered his Discworld series of books and intend to read every one of them before the year ends.
The complete works of Nickolai Gogol, Wilkie Collins’ Woman in White, short stories by Franz Kafka, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco are some of the new books in my reading list. Eco’s taxing prose has particular appeal for me because his esoteric texts (Foucault’s Pendulum, Prague Cemetery) full of arcane references to dark-mysteries requires me to use the clammy cells of the cranium to decipher the mystery.
I now look at my watch and see that I have talked for a long time on my favorite subject: books and I still have so much to say. Indeed, one is never satiated when one exchanges data with others about books. It is a topic that has infinite possibilities. Reading with love and reading for love of books do give you immense happiness and joy.
After I am done with my Masters Degree course I wish to take a long holiday to write and read. Aah…the thought makes me go all dreamy-eyed, the books that I have in my mind beckon me with welcoming smiles. I see their faces all beaming with enthusiasm for me. They are my world and I am theirs, together my books and I are members of family, relations of soul. They nourish my mind and make me a more confident and happy person.
I wish all my readers a very good morning J