Dear Library…

Come Sunday, I’ll be in a place I call ‘home’ in every sense of the word! The mere thought makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I badly need the change of scene.

Last night, while on the verge of falling asleep, I remembered something that I had wanted to write about. I read something a couple of months ago and made a mental note to blog about it whenever I found time. But then, I got busy (like always) and the ‘note’ was pushed off to some corner of my mind. Only to resurface as a half-conscious thought, last night.

I came across this article in The Guardian about libraries – how they were ‘in danger’ and about a campaign that invited readers across the globe to write “love letters to their favourite libraries”. The idea had an instant connect with me and I knew that I wanted to write one, too.

My love-letter is to a very special library, one that does not exist anymore. Sometime in 2004, when I was in 8th standard, our school campus was relocated. While the library was, technically, shifted to another place, it wasn’t the same as the one we had in the old school. That library will always be a part of my fondest and most cherished school memories, for reasons more than one.

So..here goes!

Dear Library, 

You might not remember me but I could never forget you. They say you always hold your first love as a dear memory. I think that applies for libraries as well. Atleast for a bookworm like me. 

You were my very first library (and love)! I remember getting a glimpse of your interior sometime when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. Since then, I couldn’t wait to get inside and check out all those books. Finally, when I did enter the room, a year or so later, I was on cloud nine! It was love at first sight!

Dimly lit, with a mysterious air that hinted at all the treasure troves (read: books) waiting to be discovered, you had an old world charm about you. I loved spending time there, amidst shelves and shelves of books. We used to have a Library hour once every week and I remember waiting for it so eagerly. Waiting to meet you, to explore all that you had to offer me. Crossing your threshold was like entering into an entire new world, a space where everything else ceased to exist. It was just me, you and books. Even the air smelt of books, old and slightly tattered, adding to the magic. 

You introduced me to Enid Blyton. I couldn’t get enough of Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers. I kept yearning to see more of you, and read more. You helped me take the first step into ‘Bookwormland’ and guided me along the journey, delighting me with the beautiful classics you held. I remember those years as a blur of Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, E. Nesbit (to name a few) and gems like Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna and Jane Eyre. 

I could never thank you enough for all that you have done for me. In so many ways, you made me what I am today. Hell, you might very well be the reason I write! Even though we had to part ways, I’ll never forget the time I spent with you, the happiness you gifted me. I know I never told you, but I love you; I always will. I believe you knew it all along. Every time I see the present library, or any library for that matter , I think of you and miss you. This is my way of trying to give back atleast a tiny bit of what you’ve given to me. 

Yours,

An ardent reader/admirer

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Confessions of a Crazy Bookworm! :)

Most of my friends call me a bookworm. Some just don’t understand what I find so captivating in a book, some are more like disgusted, some just let me be. And yet another bunch of friends join me in my love for books. To be honest, I love being called a bookworm. It’s one of the best nicknames anyone could ever give me. And I’m infinitely proud to be a bookworm. 🙂 Seriously! (You must be thinking: “She’s definitely lost it!”)

You might know how crazy girls get when they see clothes, accessories and the like. I react somewhat similar to that, when I see a bookstore. I can’t think of any other place I’d really love to be at! Show me a bookshop, any day, and I will go crazy with excitement. I will be on the verge of shouting out (or already doing it), my face lighting up in an instant…and before you know it, I’ll be inside the store, running around from one corner to the other. I lose all sense of time, place and people when I’m amidst books. I might squeal or

Ah!! Happiness!!!

jump or react in some way with a considerable level of excitement; I might be talking to myself, looking longingly at some books (enough to raise some suspicions in the person working at the store regarding my sanity). And I guess I should confess, working in a bookshop has always been one of my secret dreams!! Hope it comes true, some wonderful day in the near future!

I find complete, unadulterated happiness when I’m surrounded by books. There’s nothing in this whole, wide world that can be compared to that joy. It is almost heartbreaking for me to leave a bookshop. I can’t bear to leave all those books behind, so many books that I love. Friends who know me will testify that they find it super-hard to pull (read: drag) me out of a bookshop. And even after I leave, I will be lost in thoughts…thinking of the treasures I left behind. A bookshop is my ultimate spot of happiness…any time, any day. So, call me a bookworm, as much as you like. I love it!

I always have some books around me or with me, mostly. At college, you will, invariably, find a novel or some book on my desk (NEVER textbooks, though). At hostel, the corner near my pillow is devoted to a small pile of books. It’s the same at home. I try to always surround myself with books. Somehow, I seem to imbibe a kind of energy and joy from them. I know it might sound insane… But it’s true, for me, atleast.

I don’t know how I began reading. From the time I remember, I have been into books and reading. Right from childhood! I started with kids’ magazines, then fairy tales, slowly progressing into short stories, Enid Blyton books (the inevitable adventures of the Famous Five!!!), Nancy Drew, classics… From the time I opened my first book, there has been no looking back. I have no idea how it all began. But it has always been there, a part of me, a constant and definite source of bliss for me.

When I read a book, I lose myself in it. I see the characters, sometimes in myself; I feel their happiness, sorrow, fear, love. I experience their emotions, I cry with them, laugh with them. That is why each book is a distinct experience for me. They take me into a different world, one that is created in those few hundred pages. I see people I have never met before (and never will, I guess), places I have never seen… Whatever I am, today, I owe a big part of it to the books I have read. Apart from building my imagination, vocabulary and knowledge, reading has helped me form my own perceptions about a lot of things. It has made me think and has taught me a lot of profound lessons for life.

When I write, I feel I’m giving others a part of myself, a little of what I have gained from books. It feels like I’m, in a way, completing the circle. Books gave me so much, even to help me grow as a person. And now, I’m writing out part of what I have gained, giving back to the world what I can…in a way, trying to return the happiness I got…trying to help others experience what I did. I don’t expect this to make sense to everyone out there. But I’m content, knowing that there are a handful of them who can understand what I’m talking about. 🙂 Bookworms ROCK!!! 😛 😛

That's me!! 🙂

 

P.S : I’m going to be away for a short while. We (my classmates and I) are going on a class tour (part of the final year routine). And I won’t be able to post anything during the next few days. But you bet I will be back, soon… 🙂  With a lot to babble about!!! Till then, miss me! 🙂