Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Octopus Garden

My mother tells me that one of my worst habits is the way I treat books. I buy a whole pile of them and arrange them carefully on my bookshelves and start reading a myriad books around the same time, then leave them off to begin new ones and the cycle continues endlessly. She says that this is becoz of my essentially easily distracted attention and fickle nature.

I must confess that while this treatment of books is shabby indeed and I do regret not finishing a lot of the books I start, I have truly honorable intentions and I do intend to finish reading all those books I turned away from in favour of new ones.

But then I love books, I have never let a single page tear or the spine fray and what few stains there are on their pages have been thoroughly regretted.

Then I read these two truly marvellous quotes by fellow booklovers from a bygone era and realized that well, atleast I'm not the only grave offender here.

The first one is the by the famous O. Henry who raised short stories to a sublime art form and in whose stories every character, however ordinary, is treated delicately with great care and tenderness.

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."

The second one which I adore beyond measure is by the inimitable wordsmith Winston Churchill, one of the singularly most brilliant orators that ever lived.

"If you cannot read all your books...then fondle them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances."


Sakshi said...

Beautiful.. but I have to know the end! :)

T. said...

pretty much everybody that knows u knows abt this "bad habit" of urs becuase this is how conversations with u abt books go -
me : so cookie have u read shantaram?
u : no not entirely no.
me : u didn't like it?
u : no i started reading something else.
me : what abt The Ice-Candy Man?
u : i think i still have to finish three-four chapters
me : and Right Hand, Left Hand?
u : ive started it not done yet.
me : riiiiiight! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sakshi, I read the last chapter. *looks guilty* I just have really poor impulse control, I guess.

Tangled up in blue... said...

And T., how lukkha are you exactly? Go study something! :P