Skip to main content

My favourite book-reading corners

I'm in a heady mood today and the weather is egging me on. Its been raining intermittently over the last week, and I've been dying to find the time to sit by the window, the rain lashing at it, while I sip my tea and turn the pages of the book at hand. Also, this weekend comes after numerous ones when both S and me have been extremely busy, so that relaxation seemed a distant luxury. Its nearing 6 in the evening now, the breeze is soothing and the sun is getting hazier behind the cottony grey clouds. I am thinking of all the nice little spots where I have managed to curl up and read, and then some more which I wish to come across eventually.

1. This is where I first dipped into the world of books; by the double-paned wooden windows was my single bed, where I lounged after school (back when additional tuition classes had not begun ruining my life). I remember reading my first Hardy Boys there there.To this day, the greenish, glittering beams of sunlight filtering through the flimsy canopy of the peepal tree fills my heart with warmth.

2. Study tables are amazing. I've always loved them, though I've barely managed to keep them tidy. My Dad, unable to bear the mess anymore, used to clean the table while I was asleep. And then I could actually keep a book on it without sending a heap of stationery tumbling to the floor. The concept of table lamps however, did not come into my routine till my post graduation days. I still have very fond memories of reading The Wonder That Was India under the yellowing light of the old, Pixar-type lamp. I would often prop up my feet on the table and lean back on the chair and read for hours then, occasionally folding legs this and that to keep them from cramping.

The flowers were occasional, of course...
3. I shall never forget the first time I discovered James Herriot. It was a beautiful hardbound compilation I found stuffed between more popular titles on the groundfloor of my school library, and that, henceforth, became the one place in my school that was at once my refuge and my playground (considering that I was never really very athletic).

4. Balconies and rooftops are gems when it comes to finding safe, silent nooks to sneak away to to finish the last chapter without having to sing at a birthday party. My hostel life has provided several such rooftops, particularly the one I shared with 10 more girls in my fourth year of graduation.  There was no way I could have read or even studied in peace. The dilapidated, haphazard rooftop was a haven then, especially during overcast days, dawns, twilights. Balconies too have their charm, even if there isn't much of it. The one in my post-graduation was well spaced out enough, but was the site of the evening conference of pigeons, and I didn't want to disturb their routine. Nevertheless, sometimes I would prop myself on the floor, as the sun dipped behind the tall school building opposite the road and grasp the pages hard lest they should flip uncontrollably in the sudden gusts of wind.

5. I have very fond memories of fighting sleep as the setting sun warms my back and the birds chirping on their way back to their nests. Unless, it is stifflingly hot or biting cold, I do not think sitting on a garden chair to read is a fruitful practice, however Victorian it may sound. Its the idea location to read a James Herriot or an Anne of the Green Gables but the atmosphere is so incredibly soothing that it isn't long that I find myself nodding like a bobblehead. My post-graduation hostel had a convenient solution though; the small patch f garden was right outside the canteen, and I remember sitting on the bench, my back to the wall and drinking steaming tea out of a small plastic cup. Heaven. 

6. Sitting next to a rain-lashed window pane (when it s shut of course) is perhaps the biggest source of joy to a book lover. Nothing beats the shadow of running droplets on the pages and the assurance that going out would not solve any purpose besides being dissolved, and the time should thus be spent reading and reading. A mug of hot coffee or a generations of tea are likely accompaniments...


Popular posts from this blog

Man-Eaters of Kumaon - Jim Corbett

Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 5/5

This one is decidedly a classic, so there is little point in reviewing this book. It is a beautiful one, without doubt. 
Personally, I avoid any form of entertainment (books, movies, plays, anything) which features cruelty - either directly or tacitly - towards animals (I have not yet seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies, Ant Man was uncomfortable too). So deciding to read this book took a certain degree of convincing. 
Much credit goes to the beautiful cover of the book. This one is an Aleph Classics (co-founded by David Davidar of The House of Blue Mangoes fame, and Rupa Publication) edition. In terms of sheer elegance, the cover design is unmatched.

The palette concept of jungle green coupled with the late afternoon sun creates an ambiance even before you delve into the pages. I picked out the book from a thin pile on a shelf in the little HigginBothams book-store near Charing Cross in Ooty, one biting winter evening (more on that later), such w…

Higginbothams of Ooty

It took us some time to decipher that the name of the crossroad was Charing Cross. After all, it is an unexpected name for an Indian crossroad in Tamil Nadu, and the mildly opinionated chap driving us to our hotel had a heavy accent. Charing Cross turned out to be a triangular enclosure, with an imposing fountain (we later discovered that it was named the Adam's Fountain; it is three-tiered, the second one topped by four very colourful cherubs). Since we had arrived in the middle of the afternoon in the thick of winter, the roads were thronging with people and vehicles. Shops were bustling and business appeared brisk. Our driver skilfully negotiated the traffic as we passed woollens shops, gift houses, eateries, groceries and mobile-phone shops. 
We returned to the market later in the evening, after having deposited our luggage. Both my husband and I had been fending off a nasty bout of flu and needed to restock our now near-empty medicine pouch. Charing Cross in the evening (thi…

Top 10 books to read when you are depressed

Books are handy weapons to stave off blues - be it the dregs of the Sunday evening or a nasty bout of flu. When you are depressed, it takes herculean efforts to shake off the feeling. And I'm not even talking about the more severe, clinical form of depression. I can't get myself to pour myself a glass of water the day after Diwali; on Fridays on the other hand, I am the epitome of eternal sunshine. For such moody, dull days, these top 10 books are the surest way to dust a little sparkle in your life.
1) Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog): This is Jerome K. Jerome at his absolute best. It was published some 130 years back and is still capable of eliciting raucous laughter. It is the honest journal of three young, bumbling flatmates and their dog on a river cruise. Look out for some meandering, pedantic pages, but they offer some relief from the relentless humour. 
2) James Herriot'sDog Stories: If you love animals (and dogs, in particular), this is the ultimate…