“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis
Writing is not everyone’s cup o’tea, but reading is, or at least it must be. It’s not onerous to read – a book, a magazine, an article, a paragraph, or even a single sentence. Reading is a habit that will take you places, through magical universes and realms you have longed to visit, through the past and future while you read them in present. “I have been an avid reader” – I bet many of us must have begun their #IAD blog posts with this claim and they are very well so. Debdatta of b00kr3vi3ws has been extremely prudent in conceiving the idea for International Authors’ Day and a blog hop. We’ll write all about books, reading, writing and more – for you.
I can’t recall how long I’ve been reading, but it has been nearly three decades. And now when I introspect, I haven’t even read a sensible portion of everything I ever want to read. My parents had been kind enough to hand me books along with food from a very tender age. The rhyme and picture books have slowly graduated to fairy tales, mostly translated in Bangla/English from Russian and Ukranian folk takes. I’ve been lucky enough to scourge through those books in the Kolkata International Book Fair for a few years and enhance my collection. Shelves started spilling books and my father had to find me a study desk with bookshelves beneath. As my trips to the Book Fair increased each year, the bookshelf started shrinking. Innumerable Bangla and English books spilled over to my bed, the dining table (except for lunch and dinner times), the television stand, a piece or two inside the almirah, on the fridge top, and even inside my school bag.
I couldn’t buy every book I wanted, as I have been taught to respect and judge the value of money. I used to wait for gift cheques and solid cash from my grandmother(s) on birthdays/Durga Puja/Saraswati Puja/Poila Boishakh (Bangla New Year). My first Tintin (in Tibet) was courtesy maternal grandmother and I still cherish the copy for a handwritten note from her. I would demand for books rather than dresses on each occasion and it certainly made my relatives wonder if I were feminine enough. My father wasn’t worried, he built huge book-almirah with four shelves for me. For us.
The wait for the annual Pujabarshikis during Durga Puja, the heavenly smell of freshly printed pages, the wait to read the stories till exams are over are possibly my sweetest memories regarding books. We didn’t buy books online back then, didn’t read them on kindles and laptops, didn’t miss the musty smell of old, yellowed books. We did stuff that we don’t do now. I recall visiting dilapidated libraries in small suburban towns where I lived my childhood and pick up old, dusty Bangla magazines. They used to be bound together in volumes and I borrowed them to catch the past, read the novels published when my parents were in college perhaps.
I hope to create a cozy, compact and useful library some day with a dream couch to read and on and endless cups of coffee to gulp down. Till then, bookshelves, racks and books scattered all over my place will suffice!
Thanks a lot to Debdatta for organizing this #IAD blog hope. Check out the other blog hop posts via this Linky below.
I don’t do giveaways but this is an occasion I can’t resist giving away a little something.
Please participate in the Rafflecopter form below to win a copy of The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Open only for Indian residents)