I am a bookaholic! My parents imbibed in me a good reading habit, which has not left me till today. Started with Grimm Brothers and folk tales, then abridged versions of the classics; Tintin, Asterix, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha in between; Enid Blyton... then the 18-till-they-die Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys (that was a race for who among frinds would complete the whole list first)... mention Three Investigators and Sherlock Holmes; then onto the Best-seller Paperbacks (John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and the list goes on...); I was into the wonderful world of books, reading at least 2 books a week till I reached the 10th class.
Then on, other masculine and teenage distractions affected my reading habit. Though I have not given up on it, the number of books I read, has been minimum in the last four or five years. But I read most of the books that I consider my favourites, during these years.
Vacations was the time for reading. After roaming all around the city with friends the whole day, I would read late into the night some book I took from the Eloor Lending Library. Now that I have mentioned it, I might as well commend Eloor for being a very good library for fiction lovers, who cannot afford to buy New York Times Best Sellers with their hefty price tags (guess most Indians belong to that list). The Loyola School library was another place where my list of 'books I read' grew long. Another factor contributing to my interest in books, was certain people around me who were as excited as I was to discuss books; my sister Neena; my best friend Faiz Ali Mohammad, who I concede, defeated me in Hardy Boys, though I suspect he only read the summary given on the cover and the last chapter!
Angeline's been bombing me with tags! Been delaying it for no reason at all (read lazy)... so here goes my book tag!
1. Total number of books owned: Well, I come from a middle-class family, which is rich when it comes to bookish wealth. I don't think I can make any sort of guess as to the number of books owned. I personally own very few books (me and my sister got no mine's, only ours!).
2. Last book bought: Don't tell this to anybody because the last book I bought was a xerox copy of the Half-Blood Prince (bourgeoise publishers down! the proles need all the fanatasy they can get!).
3. Last book read: Same as above. Was lucky to find a copy(actually) in bloody Raipur!
4. Books that mean a lot to me:
1. Catcher In The Rye - Describes a state of mind I often find myself in! I face 'em phonies everyday, and I sure have a soft-corner (not the self-righteous take-you-to-heaven-with-me kind) for 'losers' as the conventional world calls them.
2. Catch-22 - Yossarian says they're all shooting at him. Somebody corrects that to they're shooting at everybody. Yossarian asks, in all simplicity, what the difference is! That's what Catch-22 means for me. My favourite anti-hero(conventional sense) deciding to live life for himself, forgetting country and all the liars who churnout Catch-22's so that simpletons like me and Yossarian end up dead for some cause which is not there!
3. To Kill A Mockingbird - My favourite hero, who decides to make a stand for what he thinks is right, when the society at large persecutes him. He becomes a role model for his young children, revealing to them and conditioning them to live by what their heart says is right in a world so wild. If I ever be a father, I'd be modeled on my own Papa and Atticus Finch! Also probably at the back of my decision to join law school.
4. Swami And Friends - I read this one long back. The friendship and the innocence of the boys felt very Indian and close to my own. Swami is just like me. He wastes time just before the examinations drawing up elaborate lists of things he might need while preparing for the exams. He edits and re-edits them and ends up getting very few of the items in his painstakingly made list. A wannabe organised guy, who loses himself in the finer details! I too have done the same things. Preparing schedules for my study leaves, which included minor details like the paragraphs in the books I had to study, tea-breaks, stretch-breaks. By the time I had finished the first schedule, I would be late by at least ten minutes on the grand opening. This meant another list. Poor Mummy has thrown enough schedules into the waste-basket!
6. Franny and Zooey - I'll do it for fat-lady! I recognize Jesus's presence in every individual, howsoever irritating they might be. For that reason, I might even put up with them! Salinger's style of writing definitely influenced me a lot (The bracket syndrome)!
7. Animal Farm - Helps me bear HNLU Farm! Enlightens me on how the majority of the people are, how they forget the past very easily. I loved the cynic, Benjamin the donkey, whose world view is probably best!
8. A Christmas Carol - Tells me not to go the Scrooge way. It's the spirit of Christmas for me!
That's all I can think of now!
Now, as the tag must go on, here's to...
Achu, Adarsh, Anjali, Anish, Anurag, Debanshu, Jiby, Madhvi, Praveen and Vishnu.
Don't expect to borrow any books from me... I chew and digest them!