Of all the good things in our lives, books are an integral part of happiness. At least this is how I feel. I experience an intense joy the moment I see books. I love their smell. As if sniffing them gives me a sense of euphoria, gleefully drifting along the letters and words that make up some exquisite stories of this universe. I love the way my hands feel when I hold them. Like a child who is possessive about her dolls. After all, I am the sole owner of those beautiful things.
Do such tendencies make me a bibliophile? One who buys more than she could read, perusing the pages at every bookstore in the town, often smelling the musky pages, tidying up the shelf. Does that label me as the die-hard bibliophile? You bet!
My friend and I would dedicate an entire day to bookstore hunting during our travels. It gives us immense delight as if life is worthwhile doing those little things. We have found ourselves discovering offbeat book houses, bookstores that sell books at 50 rupees and places that looked ordinary yet they treasure some great works of every genre. The Literati café in Goa. You name it, you have it.
I know there are some wonderful and jaw-dropping bookstores around the world. Whether it is Atlantis Book in Santorini, or Shakespeare & Company in Paris or Liberia Altair in Barcelona, seeing them in real life someday is a dream of mine. Until then, I fervently wish if we could build such beautiful, idyllic book shelters here, in India, granting all book lovers out there to retreat into a world of their own.
Well, this reminds me of my recent visit to the World Book Fair in Delhi. An annual fair that happens usually around the second week of January. The event is a huge crowd puller, enticing every kind of reader. I could see piles of books and a terrific amount of old and newly published books and I wondered if there could be so many writers everywhere. And, these are the ones that are in print. What about those that never made it to its destination? So many delicate stories yet to be told. Drafts remaining as drafts.
Everyone has a story to tell. Some are inspired to write, some master that artistry while few get the privilege to produce such work for the world. All in all, it is a tough job for both, the doer and the ambitious ones. I love to write as well. Sometimes, I think what a simple, heartfelt story could do for its readers. How a 300 or 400-page book can bring sea change difference in someone’s life? Can one person’s story instill new habits in someone else’s life, does it have so much power? What makes great stories and what doesn’t?
So much to ponder upon! Sometimes I catch myself in a web of my own musings 🙂
Coming back to where I had left. Undeniably and unquestionably, books are a treasure trove of so many things sublime; love, wisdom, and enlightenment. They engulf you and take you to a different world, only if you allow.
Pick a book and let it enchant you.
Somewhere amid the chaos, you might find the true meaning of life.