Saturday, July 5, 2014

Moving onto the other side

"Why don’t you buy an e-reader, like a Kindle or something?"

A year back, I would have considered that question rather abhorrent.

Enough to elicit a reaction that involved rolling of eyes and flaring of nostrils. And even before I realized, the words would be out of my mouth.  “NOOOOO WAY! HOW CAN YOU READ FROM THAT “THING”!

Now, that 'THING' is what I stare at most of the time.

The story goes something like this.

You know that feeling when you go to a bookstore and see at least four paperbacks that you want to pick up. And one look at the price tag is all that you need to walk out of the door as fast as you can. Trust me that feeling surfaces very often IF you live in any country where the official currency is not INR.

After a few Google searches and long walks around the neighborhood, I discovered libraries only to feel more disappointed.  Ok, no offence here, but the last time I ruffled through a Women’s Era was when I was at a Salon, maybe, like 4 years ago or something? The librarian insists that they have a great collection including issues from the late 90s. Did she think I missed “Hubbies Howlers”? (Really???!)

The second library was definitely relaxing, by the beach and all that, but then coffee table books are not the only thing I want to read. The thrift shop around the corner too decided to close operations.

You can imagine how much of a letdown this was when back home I used to buy books, borrow books, be part of libraries where they picked and dropped books. Sigh. It was easier than ordering a pizza!

The overzealous expat that I am, none of the above really stopped me from joining a new book club. And yet again I was back to square one.
 “Do I really need to BUY every book that we are discussing!?”
“Why is the best library in town the farthest from my house?”
“Ok, maybe I don’t need to attend this meeting because they are not discussing a book which I have”

Then, of course, there is the eternal problem of weight and space and everything else especially when you are a nomad shifting houses, cities and countries! Where do you think we send all our beloved books? Of course, to the best book keepers in the world, our parents J

All is hunky dory till even they start shifting houses.

My mother had to single handedly pack four giant cartons full of books while Dad and her shifted to a new house, the after math of which was the ISD call she made to politely let me know that all the three bookshelves and the loft were filled with books belonging to me and my dear sibling. Let me sum up that conversation in a single statement - “No more books in this house please!”


It was time to move.

The next thing I knew I was placing an order for the 'THING' - Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

No biggie. I am sure most of you who are reading this might already own an e-reader.

But for someone who always rolled their eyes and scoffed at the idea, it was a big decision

Fortunately, our beloved internet is full of websites that offer the widest variety of e books, and many of them don’t even cost a penny.  The mere satisfaction of having so many books in your possession does give you one hell of a high and you are never out of options to read.  Heck! I am even getting used to reading three at a time!

Although having said that, deep down I am still a paperback girl. I guess we all are.

Maybe a book here and a few there?

Sorry Ma, we may just have to build another book shelf!!