The gentle ruffling of the yellow pages, the oddly angled cold hand holding out from the warmth of the bed, the soothing smell of turning the pages, and the mind mediating to a calm sleep.
“Have you read all these books?” she asked with a convinced look of disbelief on her face. “No, these are my favourite artefacts for doing up my walls” I retorted in a subtle tone of offensiveness. Her long gaze at the bookshelves cut through the air her affirmation about the seemingly unnecessary crowding of books. She seemed to have come from the un-colonial world, so disagreeably contemporary to my mind.
Reading books in these times is un-orthodox so to say. The new-fangled book lovers would rather have the meat of the book delivered to them on an online reading platform or an audiobook. That is just about all the time people today can lease out from their on-the-go lives. Fancy, stumbling upon websites that would supply you in a fist the author’s mind. The new age bookstores and libraries fan out stuff like this:
Blinkist: Perfect for curious people who love to learn, busy people who don’t have time to read, and even people who aren’t into reading.
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“People in a hurry”- that’s who we are? Exclamation and a Pause. And the unhypocritical would take to some real time reading. Welcome to their world, the Kindle World. To me, that’s like reading a book without a soul. I’ve been surveying around for libraries that may have survived the kindle brand, and spotted a governmental one that existed for real.
The library seemed to have regained its youth with the structural facelift, a fresh coat of white and yellow, as dark as the yoke of an egg. The pretentious exterior though untold a story of a war-torn space inside. Books, wore the same dull brown muddy colour, thickly layered with dust, spattered on the floors, shelved inside the unlatched half flung open book shelves, mounded on limp wooden table, or abandoned in their desolate disorder. A two-man staffed barn door library housed no readers, came a full circle with floors littered with pigeon droppings and a dead pigeon inside. But as I believe, book lovers will find a treasure trove in the dingiest and the darkest book room. The book clerk handed me a brittle yellow receipt as he loaned me a navy blue hard cover collection of poetry named “Library of World Poetry”. It had the world’s finest and the infamous compilation of poetries including Lord Byron’s ‘She Walks In Beauty’, a poem I learnt by heart in Class X. What transcended the school time composition was a chance glance at the verse by William Walsh:
RIVALRY IN LOVEOf all the plagues a lover bears,
Sure, rivals are the worst!
By partners in each other kind,
Afflictions easier grow;
In love alone we hate to find
Compassions of our woe.
Sylvia, for all the pangs you see
Are lab’ring in my breast;
I beg not you favor me,
Would you but slight the rest!
How great soe’r your rigors are,
With them alone I’ll cope;
I can endure my own despair,
But not another’s hope.