I finished reading a book. We won’t call this a book review for I’m 11 years late then. Call it whatever you want to, it doesn’t really matter.
So this book. I was home with an injured leg, again, and after fifteen whole days cooped up at home I managed to give my mother the slip and go to the colony library. Now, I’m a dreamer, but when it comes to everything apart from my dreams, I’m overly realistic. I went armed with what to expect at this small library – everything that a bibliophile with dreams of the perfect library, the perfect bookstore and the perfect reading enthusiasts – WOULDN’T expect.
As frequently seen in the Indian scenario, most libraries, second hand marts and bookstores even, have anything BUT good books. The definition of a ‘good’ book, I realize, is ambiguous. To many apparently, it’s limited to guides, road maps, stationary – all fluff and pink, and some libraries shock me with books that talk about yet another IIT student; the English scares me, the grammar throws me off and the first line has me shutting the so called novel and running for my life. Self published or otherwise, there should be standards, Quid putas? (Which I hope is Latin for ‘don’t you think so?)
According to me, it involves truckloads of classics, and fiction; readable fiction. I’m told I expect too much. E bah! A good book a day keeps bad mood, bad all away! Not to say there aren’t any good book places; just saying there is a phenomenally irritating dearth of the same. Sometimes I don’t want Flipkart and book places selling C++ and Java and How to run a Company and stories that sell and The handbook of Advertising and GRE and Toefl.
And then there are these – http://mentalfloss.com/article/51788/62-worlds-most-beautiful-libraries – why wouldn’t I feel bad!:O
So back to the colony library. It had (has) seven books I liked. I read one. The Curious Incident with the dog in the night by Mark Haddon. Whitbread prize 2003. And soon to be seen in Broadway as a play. Why did I pick it up? It was an easy choice, really. Just visit the library. Also, I liked the cover. My sister who hates reading was sitting next to me. My sister HATES books and reading and library. I figured, it’s now or never and tried to tempt her with it. Hard luck, but I ended up liking it. The protagonist, the 15 year old boy who is autistic, is one of the finest characters I’ve read. Everything about him spells fresh and new and interesting. The prime number fascination and numbering the chapters accordingly, love of facts and Sherlock Holmes (though not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) the Monty Hill problem and Occam’s Razor theory combined with stern statements and a kid with behavioral problems reasoning ‘ choosing is important because you then fix on one thing; otherwise you see everything and do nothing and are left with nothing but empty thoughts’. It’s easy to get hooked on and read.