Books (My Loves: I)

I’d always prefer reading to watching a movie. There are so many good movies adapted from bestselling novels but I am not interested in watching them. I like reading. Even if I do watch the movie (like the HP series, Bridget Jones Diary, Confessions of a shopaholic), I do that after I’ve relished the book. And when people discuss the movie and say ‘It was fantastic’, I go all ‘Oh, they’ve changed the entire original story. The book is much better’, thus snubbing poor, harmless movie lovers.

I have 2 very good friends who are movie buffs. No, they do not just watch all the latest movies that come in theatres. They watch classics. Award winning movies. Really well made movies. That kind of a thing. But no, I haven’t developed any interest whatsoever and feel visibly bored when discussion on movies is happening around me. For some reason, I am averse to Hollywood movies, however novel they may be (unless they are animated). It could be that I don’t relate to them and relate more to colourful Bollywood movies because of my love for Saris or dance numbers like Munni Badnaam and Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mastor Indian kitsch or the silliness of funny Indian movies.

No. My passion remains reading. Why I came up with this out of the blue is because I have been on a reading marathon since the last 3 days. 3 books (e-books) finished in 3 days straight. I will also commit irreverence and say that I read 2 books at work. And once I started reading books of my favourite genres (ie, chick lit and detective), I had no control over myself and read till the end. And I am craving for more. I read into the silence of the night and the muffled howl of cold wind and melodious sound of wind chimes gave me company. Felt like time had stopped. I was in no hurry. I had all the time in the world. I felt totally at ease. And I didn’t want the night to end.

This reminded me of my school days – the golden era sans internet, Gtalk, Blackberry, pending bills and marriage issues. My sister and I have been avid readers since childhood because of presence of grandparents, who were always found with a book in their hands, at home. Good influence, I must say. We stayed in a small town in Gujarat where our school and its library were like a diamond in a coal mine. I remember flocking into the library in breaks between classes. We had the advantage of borrowing books during vacations too on our Mother’s name who is still a teacher there. How delighted we used to be when we came back from school armed with books, usually detective. We carried the books to Bombay during vacations to our Nana’splace. Crossword store was like heaven and we usually came back with 10 books per visit.

We started with Enid Blyton. Her ‘Magic Of The Faraway Tree’ and ‘4’o Clock Tales’ made us believe in magic. We spent summer vacations lurking in Nana’sgarden hoping to find a scared pixie or a lost fairy crying because a wicked goblin stole her tiara. We moved on to Famous Five. We loved their adventures on the secret island, their night sneak outs and ability to expose scandalous men. Next came Nancy Drew – the best teen detective in the world! She became my idol – what with driving a car, having a handsome boyfriend, getting run over by cars with mud-patted number plates, opening locks with her lock-picking kit & still managing to look good. I wanted to be like her!

The world then opened to a more adult crime scene – Perry Mason murder cases. No handsome boys or pretty girls. Plain blood, murders and cruel intentions. We became addicted to this series written by Erle Stanley Gardner. Day and night, we had our faces buried in these books much to Mother’s irritation. But how could we put down novels so full of thrill, suspense and the clever tactics of the smart Perry Mason?

John Grisham. Ken Follet and Jeffery Archer found their place too, on my bedside table.

After a lull of a couple of years, when I totally stopped reading, I was introduced to a more sassy, witty and colourful world of chick-lits. There has been no looking back hence. I’ve stuck to it. Sophie Kinsella is undoubtedly my favourite author, followed by Meg Cabot, Emily Giffin and Jane Green. The fact that I was around 26 that time was a major reason why I became addicted to chick-lit. The stories could possibly be my own stories (except that there is no Luke Brandon or Cal Langdon in my life even today – at 29). But you get the picture.

I still try to move my eyes away from chick lit to look at other bestsellers but the books that get me stuck to my seat for hours or get me forget the rest of the world belong to the chick lit genre.

Goodreadshas got me hooked on to it. I browse through the ocean of books – BOOKS! – out there and want to read all. My To-Read list is increasing every day. Those who read will know what kind of a dream world it is. What it feels like to feel the characters coming true. Why it feels that you have become friends with the characters.

Nona Merah writes a blog post about what it’s like to date a girl who reads.

So true. I can relate to it so well.


7 thoughts on “Books (My Loves: I)

  1. Hi,
    I cannot agree more when it is said that a book is always better to a movie. Enid Blyton and her 4 O’Clock Tales, Famous Five and Secret Seven are still fresh from school days. Being an avid reader, I remember rushing to the library to exchange books and even dreaming about the story sometimes at night. You wake up feeling that you have been a part of it through the dream and relate yourself to the character.

    These days, however, jobs take up most of the day, but occasionally relishing a book of your choice with a coffee is the one of the best ways to spend time.


  2. Enid Blyton is the favourite writer of my childhood….. i still pick up my old books and read a paragraph or two to relive her magic & enchanted world. i also loved her boarding school stories like Malory Towers, etc.

    • I agree! Remember the Faraway Tree series? So magical!! And I badly wanted to go to a boarding school like MAlory Towers or St. Clare’s.. And wanted to wear shoes and socks at home and have a nursery like all the kids in her books..

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