Somewhere between turning a page and pressing an arrow key, we all grew up.
I used to spend a lot of my time in a library. Not that I read so many books. I was rather enjoying the search task.
Those shelves that held books written by my favorite inspirational authors.
Those shelvesthat held the fantasy and fictions within it.
Those shelvesthat I ignored though it called me with its academic books.
Those shelves that called me to have a look at it and learn about the world, explore the world, see through the naked eyes rather than a camera, and capture the memories in heart rather on a developed photo.
Those shelves that were dusty, some unseen, some untouched, some clean.
Those shelves that didn’t tell me that I gave a wrong search result.
Hours together of search does not make you sigh at last, rather it gives an idea that what does X,Y,Z author write about.
Every book that I placed my hand on used to build with me a bond unbroken. I used to visualize- what exactly is this author’s mind set, how exactly was this author’s life and ideas, and in what kind of an environment was the author brought up. Immense pleasure was then, when I could imagine myself in the place of the protagonist. The bookmarks that I made which varied as per the essence the book held, the theme that the book narrated and this filled in me the feel of living a life and not just living. The bookmarks gifted by friends off course were placed in best of the best books.
The shelf that invited me the most were those that had in it the killers, thrillers and books of detectives in long drooping robes. More the murders, more exact was my deduction of the murderer, more was my ecstasy.
The second best shelf was with books describing the author’s protagonist as a person enjoying amidst nature and green. Solely an act player. Describing the life of a person who has undergone ups and downs bracingly without a tinge of losing hope. My hands used to go to these shelves when my mood was a little down and expected that a book would help me cheer up than anything else on earth. My most favorite of this type was, is and will be R.K Narayan’s collections. Swami and friends brings in a child within us. Few other collections of his depicts that smiles and happiness are not defined. Every individual has his/her own definition of happiness. For the poor one day’s meal is happiness, for the rich day spent without illness is happiness. The vendor of sweets by R.K Narayan (Mithaiwala) shows the struggle of a father and the way he let goes his principles for his son. It is a best collection that very well describes an Indian rationalized thinking.
The best of all are the poems and dialects. Poems hold in it the expression of the poet and the sensitivity of the feeling. A poet describes his thoughts in a way more subtle and gives us the freedom of relating them to our own string of thoughts. My most favorite being that of Ruskin Bond and our very own Da.Ra. Bendre (One of the most notable poets of Kannada). Few of Bendre’s writings depict difficulties faced by him in his life with a tinge of feel that it all is in the game of life.
Well look at that, in joy of speaking about my favorites, I almost lost the track of what I started with. This is the magic of books. This is the magic that books do on us. This is the spell that a library calls in for.
In today’s world an e-book, e-library, e-sale etc. anything and whatsoever has become a substitute. Somewhere we are losing the fun of holding a book and reading. In fact I miss it more. We have time for browsing social sites hours together, but no time for visiting a library pick a book, read a page. An eye specialist says don’t look at computers for long and here we are ending up reading a novel online. It’s true that technology has grown, has become a part and parcel of our life, has advantages, saves time, makes it quicker and effortless, and increases the portability. Apps can even read out the books to us. But what are we missing. We miss tracking a route on an excursion ourselves as Google says it all, we miss going to a shop and enquire about a purchase because you get it delivered at your doorstep, finally when coming to books- we miss the real them. We even read a post by a friend on social site and also a great work of an author with no difference at all. We miss the joy of holding a big fat book and bookmarks that they hold. We miss the actual literary fun.
However, major part of traits still read and visit libraries, but a first choice would be an e-book. It’s really good that we have progressed in technology but the real fun has no substitute. This is a thought of a person who is missing books and trying to let go e-books from her library in mobile.
Open a library. Open a library of thoughts. Open a library and search amongst it. Open a library find the word that you need. Open a library share the thoughts. Open a library at least when you have time. Open a library to save the culture of reading books. Open a library and invite kids enjoying vacation. Open a library.