Skip to main content

What it means to be a bibliophile - the pain of withdrawal

Last week, I went three days without reading a page. Things were pretty tight at work, so on one of the mornings, while I was waiting for the bus, I suddenly realised that I felt a bit brain-dead. Of course, I wasn't fainting or perspiring beyond normal in the early-summer morning; there was just this part of my brain which felt like an automobile without gas. 

These moments come quite often, when reading becomes a luxury. While it doesn't really bore into you, but conversations with people who follow the habit of a-few-pages-before-sleeping have revealed that not reading is as good as a skipped medication. The impact is gradual, that is, as the next day starts/the existing one progresses, the lack of variety in our lives kicks in. I'm not sure, but adventurers may not be facing this issue (heck, they are the ones whose stories we read, after all), but for the mundane folk like us, a slice of a world that is not our own, is an addiction.  

So how do we sort this ? Because, this scenario is not unheard of at pretty regular intervals. Kindle is a good option, you can really read practically anywhere without fumbling. An audio book is a minor variation though it does not have the same feel as a hardcopy but comes close. Reading relatively benign topics in the newspaper does soothe the nerves (though getting to the benign topic would mean wading through pages of murky stuff). Sometimes, simply discussing an old favorite with someone, also works. And the most foolproof way is perhaps reading just one paragraph of The Catcher In The Rye and life would suddenly become clearer, fuller and more honest. 

There are also days, when you would have buried your nose in those unputdownable books and emerged from them dazed and dehydrated. In such times, I always remember my mom's words - there's as much laughter in the world as there are tears. Besides the feeling that I need to sit by the window and figure out how my life has changed, there is also a small part of me cherishing this rare time I've just had, gobbling up a book without interruptions. I know it will be a log time something like this would happen again. Sigh. 

Like any form of obsession I guess, reading, once it becomes a part of your life, becomes a part of you.      


Popular posts from this blog

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…

List#1 The Top Ten Authors I've Read The Most Books From

So I stumbled across this blog The Broke and the Bookish quite by chance (actually I was going through another brilliant blog Fourth Street Review, which led me to TBB). They have an interesting section for Top Tens, and this time it was The Top Ten Authors I've Read The Most Books From. I'm not sure if I can name ten, but let's see here...

Alistair MacLean: Give me a warm-hearted, yet cold-demeanoured, taciturn, multifaceted gentleman, who is also a juggler with words, and a plot set in a crippled ship in hostile waters or a ice-floe or on ragged mountains, and the only other thing I'll ask for is a cup of tea to read it with.

James Herriot: I love animals. Enough said. No, but really, Herriot is the reason I took Library as my preferred choice of 'activity' at school.

John le Carre: God, its depressing to read a le Carre. But its right up there with MacLean. There's something hypnotic about his work and there have been phases when I've read nothing but …

I am currently reading...

The Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This is proving to be a very empowering read, which I believe was the whole point of the book anyway. For those judge a book by its cover (which is also pretty badass), it really doesn't seem to even skirt the edges of feminism. At its crudest, it is a collection of stories and their analyses to help rediscover what it means to be a woman. If it sounds redundant, then it goes to show howo much we need this book. 
I must say, books of this kind are not up my alley. It feels too verbose (even by my standards) and the bluntness induced by my utter worldly view of things makes it really difficult for me to penetrate the exuberance of being a woman, as noted in the book. I am just three chapters down, so it wouldn't possibly be wise to quote a favourite right now, but La Loba seems very ethereal. The whole concept of some force (our own, presumably) that can join broken, littered pieces, is deeply appealing. 
Newspapers a…