‘…Books are lovely dark or deep,
we readers have promises to keep
As we have millions more to read!’
I may have distorted these immortal words of Robert Frost, but I guess he and his fans would forgive me because my intention is right! I love the original lines so much because they end up being the real motivation behind me picking up my pieces every time I fall. So, I feel like it is my right as a writer and reader to pick these lines and give them a new color and flavor regarding this beautiful realization about the lack of our inclinations to read. The technology is riding its high, especially during these covid/post covid times. Because of its abundance, we end up reading from devices and apps like Kindle and audible have become our friends of convenience. But there are times when most of us readers crave to hold that rough or smooth page scraping our fingers. We feel satisfied when we inhale the nostalgia left by the smell of paper and its printing ink when we happen to flip through the physical pages of the novels before our eyes. There are these books and then there are books that we don’t pick up despite them being our housemates for quite a while.
Have you ever had books that have been lying on the bookshelf right in front of you, yet are ignored by you all the time? I know I have quite a few that I have bought to read but never end up going past their cover page. Sometimes the cover no longer lures me, at other times I left it after the first chapter because it was not up to my self-developed standard as a reader! In my whole honesty, there may be around 10 books in my vicinity that have maintained their virgin identity since the 3 years of their stay with me. On this world book day, initially, I was thinking about writing perhaps a book review or an article about an author. But then when I was browsing through my book corner, I realized there have been so many books orphaned deliberately by me. So, I feel today is the perfect day to talk about them. Maybe it will motivate me to give them the importance they deserve. We all need to give them their due respect because when we think about the effort that went behind bringing them to life, these books deserve to be picked up and read through and through.
As my son became his inspired version favorite book character today, I realized how soon in our lives do we start choosing our favorites. This morning as I painted him as a cyborg with all my creativity flowing through my brush, I felt it was my moral duty to make him aware of this unconscious responsibility he is carrying over his tiny shoulders. While getting him ready I playfully asked him why he chose this character. His answer was simple “I find the book very interesting because of Eric the robot. I also sometimes wonder what it would be if a robot can feel like a human!” I smiled and replied to him, “then it would be a human again darling.” He stared past me through his whole routine as if absorbing what I said. But I continued with my rant, “but you must remember that if you love one book then that does not mean you will treat others any less!” he looked at me and answered back very softy, “just like humans and relations, Mumma! Because the writer of those unread books might feel bad because I did not appreciate their efforts.” I nodded in approval. That was big, even for me! I realized we as readers are many times doing just that. When we choose one over the other, we are in a way undermining the talent hidden inside other reads just because we might like the look of one more. What if we treat our books as our friends in reality? Shouldn’t it be difficult for us to choose one friend to be our best among so many good ones? The books might not have emotions but the writers when they pour their heart out in their writings, have! We never know how much of them they have put in while bringing their thought and words to life in the form of a book that is left ignored in that dark corner of our room.
Well, there is no better time to make things right than now! As I am writing my thoughts for you all to read, I am proud to see this book sitting next to my laptop that I have chosen to pick up as my next read right after I finish my writing. It is one of those 10 unread books that have been my silent companion for some time. I understand I had to focus my mind and will my feelings to understand that I need to have the same enthusiasm as when I bought them. How about we all try this occasionally. Pick those that are lying unattended in our bookshelves more often and have a deliberate read through them. Like any healthy relationship, they will eventually grow on us. When we give them the importance they deserve, we can turn it into a habit in our lives to move away from our step-relations in all forms as we develop our habit of acceptance by choice. There should be no compulsion in the choices we made but a simple conscious effort when we make our everyday choice. So today on World Book Day, let us get up and stroll through our furniture, move towards that dusty corner of our bookshelves, corners, boxes and pick the one that we have never chosen. How about we dream this day through those words that perhaps have stopped attracting us. Let us choose that unchosen one and perhaps we can find that treasure of knowledge that has been kept away from our mind by none other than us! Read on for I wish you all Happy reading…