Musings of a bookworm

I am not an avid reader. There are times when I don’t even touch a book, there are times when I start reading a book and then leave it unattended for weeks, and then there are times when I cannot put down a book that I am reading and finish it off in a day or two. I have been asked often why I like to read, which I am sure a lot of book readers are asked as well. Is it the detailed description that movies cannot ever explain (book lovers will always begrudge the movies). Or is it something else?

I just read a heart wrenching book and I just had to talk about it, the book, the experience of reading, not this book but reading in general. Couldn’t have been a better time to talk about why I love to read so much.

I do not know how to appreciate movies, mostly the direction, the dialogues. It is just the story for me, which I may or may not relate to. The dialogues are mere lines spoken matter of factly. If they are complicated, deep, meaningful lines, it is most likely that I will not be quick enough to grasp that hidden meaning behind that line. So I will end up liking a movie if I resonate with the story and the characters (or if it is a thriller, I am sold). But books ! Ah, what can I say? You are at leisure to read, re-read a certain line. There is nothing there, no actress giving you the visual aid of expressions, no scenic beauty to get lost in. It’s just you and your imagination. You have to get into the details of imagining your character, their actions, demeanors, expressions. You are at a free will, yet the burden of how this experience will turn out lies on your shoulders. Going too fast may ruin it, so might going too slow. The perfect pace matters. Patience matters.

There are times when an author may write a book with such honesty that you just believe them. The characters are too good to be true, yet you believe them. You rejoice in their happiness, shed tears for their sufferings, you laugh and weep with them. Your heart longs to be with someone who does not exist. All the emotions that you have buried deep within yourself come right out. You live a life in those moments that is not yours and you get to see so much of this world through someone else’s eyes.

I used to read for the sake of reading at some point of time. Hurrying through the pages, skipping lines. More concerned about reaching the end rather than enjoying the journey and the experience (I blame you Agatha Christie for doing this to me with all the action happening in the last chapter). But then again, better late than never. I loved reading because it was a good past time and the stories were damn good! I think now I read because I love to get lost in a different world for a few days, living a different life. Next time I’ll learn how to appreciate movies and non-fiction better!


Gone with the wind, a novel way ahead of its time

I had this book in my shelf for months but whenever I used to look at the huge volume of pages, I used to accept that I am never ever going to read that and used to curse the day when I purchased it. But then one fine day, I finally gathered enough courage to start reading this book and was never able to put it down. Yes it took me a lot of time. But it is one of the best books that I have ever read.

Despite being a classic, it was written in such an easy English, unlike other classics. It was not so challenging to understand and it just improved my vocabulary with the amazing use of words in it. The way of writing it was such that you could just not put it down. And it was not even because it has an “amazing plotline” because there is no plot as such. It’s a big tale stretched over years. So the thing that made this so amazing to read was how easily you could read pages after pages and not realise. This is one brilliant way of story telling.

Scarlett O’Hara. The person around which the entire book is centred. I would not lie, I did not like this character for a very long time. Probably just because of how mean she was to the only person who loved her the most in the entire book. But that moment when she realises how silly she had been all these years and how deeply she actually loved that person, it just made me fall in love with her. And I also felt quite sorry for her. But it just makes you feel that there are people in our lives that we start taking for granted and when we do realise their value, it’s always too late.

There are many more reasons to admire Scarlett honestly She had done enough things in her lifetime to win appreciation. She single handedly managed to feed her entire family during the hard times. And she went against all the norms of the society to achieve that, without caring what others thought. Her only concern was to provide for her family and so she gave up the life of comfort and just concentrated on working hard. Though she was mean to many people, but she we smart enough to judge who would be of help to her and knew how to take advantage of them. Maybe it’s not the best quality, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And she was so brave and so strong. And so young! Despite that she just kept her head up and did what she had to. I think this book captures the exact essence of women empowerment.

Also I am in total awe of how this book showed the remnant of the war, how families are torn and broken because of war. It was heart wrenching to see how everyone had to go and participate in the war, irrespective of whether they wanted to or not, but it was their duty enforced on them, because they owed their nation. And how their families had no means of communication with them and they just had to wait in long queues every other week to hear the names of people who are still alive and based on that declare that their loved ones dead. We do not realise the value of our families in the kind of environment we are brought up, but I hope that that will change with growing up.

And most of all, I was captured by the beauty of that time, how simple everything was. I really want to go and experience what life used to be like before technology took over. I am sure it must have been tough but people used to survive so it mustn’t have been that bad.

The best lesson that I have learnt from this book:

After all, tomorrow is another day

FYI, this isn’t procrastination, it’s an amazing attitude towards things where you know how to get your head straight and make a plan to do things in a better way instead of worrying right now. You really have to read this masterpiece to understand the depth of this one line and I would totally recommend that.