Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More about books, e books and some re reading

I finally bought a Kindle last month. After months of reading( mainly free samples and some unsatisfactorily converted e-books ) on the Kindle app on my cell and consequent eye strain , I gathered enough courage to switch over to electronic  format of books.

As expected ,as soon as I bought it, I went on buying e-books that were comparatively cheap.I got some good e-books at really low price ,as low as Rs.39.

These include….

1.An unsuitable boy...Karan Johar

2. Khullam Khulla...Rishi Kapoor

3. Why I write ..essays by Saadat Hasan Manto

4.Sapiens ,a brief history of humankind...Yuval Harari

5.Chai,chai...Biswanath Rai

6.Hot tea across India...Rishad Saam Mehta

7.Chasing monsoon by Alexander Frater

8.A strange kind of Paradise by Sam Miller

9.When the road beckons..another travelogue

Then there were other books which were not so cheap,but I bought anyway because I wanted to read them….

1.Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sanders

2.Chillies and Porridge ...essays on food,edited by Meeta Kapoor

3.An anthology : First 3 novels in the Thursday Next series by Jasper fforde

4.Popcorn essayists edited by Jai Arjun Singh

5.The little Paris bookshop by Nina George

6.Would you like some bread with that book,essays by Veena Venugopal

7.Wild mind...essays on craft of writing by Natalie Goldberg

( Warning : I will post reviews of many of these books !)

In addition, I also ‘purchased’ several other books which were free,some classics like Thoreau and Sherlock Holmes and some romantic novels. These, I may never read…. The lure of free,cheap things !!!

I read around 7 books during last month ( my kindle arrived on 13th February) and read a few partially.That number surely gives me a feeling of becoming even more reclusive and withdrawn from life after the grand entry of kindle  ! (Or it may be due to a minor illness for which I was at home on sick leave…)

But then one can not give up on the paper books so easily…. they are a part of your life,you made a promise to the book , when you purchased it….. of giving a loving attention ….nurturing it , taming it…..

After almost one and a half month , today I went through all my paper books. This was for updating my book list-to see how many books are still untouched  and to  rearrange it by size( I know it is a silly way but I see it as the only effective way to solve my space crunch.)

I discovered that almost 25-30% books are still unread. It is likely that I may never read some of those books( These include ,for example, How Proust can change your life, The lexus and the olive tree,The undercover economist, 4 novels by Henry James etc.)I wonder what made me buy these….a really low price,an attractive cover, some books which may be winners of  literary prizes ,some very enthusiastic and positive review of the book or a feeling that I must read this book to become a well read person….

But I still can not bring myself to give away those books...what if my reading taste changes when I am 65 ?

I also came across several  books which I love and wanted to re-read them immediately. I started with St.Exupery’s ‘The little prince ‘ and a very tiny short story book by Khushwant Singh.

Short stories by Khushwant Singh : I actually don't remember where I got this particular book,there is no inscription.It is an outlook exclusive,which has one original story-’The princess of kahin nahin ‘and 2 stories which have been published previously in Collected stories of Khushwant Singh.(The bottom pincher and India is a strange country) .I have a feeling that I got it from a raddi shop for Rs.5 or 10.

As the introduction says,K. S.’s short stories are brimming with fun ,malice and vividly drawn characters. I especially enjoy the malice ….

All the  3 stories are great . I can not write more about it because of the possibility that my review will have more words that the story. In short, the first story is about a gossip mongering,attention seeking lady who calls herself a Princess. (the suffix ‘of Kahin nahin (nowhere) ‘is supplied by the narrator) The second  is about a parsi gentleman who is a bottom pincher(a hilarious story !) . The last one, ‘India is a strange country ‘ is a story of an Englishman (and his dog) whose puzzling behaviour is suddenly seen in a new perspective after a tragic event in his life.

K.S.’s short stories are based on the people he met,he changed the names ,put them in colorful circumstances and weaved wonderfully entertaining stories. They remind me of short stories by Maugham.

A tiny gem in my collection….