Reading is a habit we picked up very early in life, my mother used to read the book for me, then slowly I began reading them myself. Eventually I have a library. Like most book-owners I have a pathological disorder, of hoarding I hate giving my books off. The maximum that I do is give them away to my nieces and nephews.
At the Annual Publishing Next conference at Goa, the publisher from Vani Prakashana, shared the screen shot of a FB post where a boy had posted, “aak pehali tankha mili, ghaar maalik to kirayi diya, maa-baap ko paise bheje, or zindagi mein pehli bhaar apneliye kitab kharida.” Books still have that status in life.
The books, they are lined up on shelves, or stacked on a table, some still wrapped in their jackets, lines of neat print on nicely bound pages, they look so orderly and static, then along comes the reader, opens the jacket, and it is opening the gate to an unknown city or a discovering a treasure chest, with the first word that the reader reads, he is off on a journey of exploration and discover.
Once the book is read, the fragrance fades, and dog-ears appear, the books join the vast flock of variegated feathered flock of books, wild, homeless, yet they have a charm that the domesticated volumes lack.
Some even giving them the epithet “used books” like someone else has had the best of them, and what is left is just the husk or maybe even less, as a book isn’t the one thing, the one product that is forever new, there is no such a thing as used book. Or there’s nothing as book that is being used.
Food 4 Thought Foundation provides dignity to these books, whose readers have out grown them. They even pick the book up for you, the books are in safe haven looking ahead to a new lease, for they are sorted and sent to libraries and other places for people to read. I met these volunteers at the Hyderabad, LitFest it was amazing to see their zest.