A coffee-table book

By its cover, never judge a book. So, never judge a person by one’s look! Spectacled beings aren’t always studious and those flaunting huge piles of books in a shelf may not be scholars. However, there is nothing wrong in giving yourself a smart look with a good book. This is what I would do precisely many a times but till the day I realised it...
A neighbour, who happened to be with me in the elevator, asked me about a good library in the vicinity. Maybe the question had nothing more to it beyond striking a conversation. However, a delighted me delivered a brief speech on choosing an apt library suiting to one’s likes, inclination, profession or specific requirements. The very next day the person rang my doorbell to tell me how my ‘guidance’ had helped him zero in on the appropriate library. That’s not all. He left with a comment that I was the right person to talk to about books and libraries as rest of the ‘youngsters barely read these days’. As he was a retired defence personnel, he perhaps had all the time and inclination in the world to ‘discuss’ libraries and books but I most certainly was running short of time for it. Hence, I couldn’t take his comment as a compliment yet the person was honest enough though.
The bottomline is, I appeared to be a voracious reader type of a girl to the fellow. That was the same day I got a call from my library requesting me to return the books I had lent from them. For over seven months I hadn’t stuck to the library deadline. Certainly embarrassed, I slyly walked into the library. Otherwise, I would walk in with thick books, embodiments (!) of my personality. As I was in the good books of librarians, I made lame excuses of being on maternity leave and expressed regret over not keeping the deadline. The fat book I retuned ‘The Story of Philosophy’ bailed me out. I made a passing comment that serious stuff like this does take months together to dwell upon and librarian bought that. Very much impressed by my choice, he offered me pick up more and said how the library valued serious (?) readers like me!
Though I managed to leave on a good note, I questioned myself how much serious a reader I really was.
Reading is a good habit beyond doubt. But I must agree that myself and my books were not on the same page these days. It could be maternity and professional commitments, I was not able to dedicate time to books as much I could a couple of months ago. There were times I read books cover to cover, but nowadays, I could rarely reach beyond covers! The point is I still took pleasure in keeping a pile of books on my shelf, grabbing onlookers’ attention. I must confess I would find something amiss in my room if I don’t see them on my shelf. How much would I read them is a different story…
Even in the era of e-books, flaunting books gives us as much pleasure as reading does, if not more. What books are to me, could be artworks, pictures, snaps, cartoons, music compilations, antiques and artifacts, stamps, coins, sculptures, flags and so on to others. Most of us have some collections we boast of that speak volumes of our passion. Those belongings are our latent likings that show subtle sides of our personalities. Boasting of them is as much part of human tendency as collecting them is and why shouldn’t we? Flaunting our compilations to a point doesn’t make our passion any less genuine. However, crossing the line will soon take substance out of it. This could be the high time we read writing on the wall…

An aside, but coming back to my library, I must mention I walked in with two more books on the insistence of the librarian and I have a plenty of unread e-books on my pen drive. It’s fine for me to share with you all till you don’t read between the lines…


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