Saturday, January 9, 2010

on paper

Walking in bookstores and buying books is one of the most delightful activities for me. So much so that in the past few years I have turned more into a book hoarder than a reader. Trust me I am unable to resist the temptation. One such walk in session I wondered at the number of books and authors. It seemed as if almost everyone writes . I suddenly saw an image of a rainforest immersed in a pool of black ink. Zillions of words printed on what once used to be a life form. I meant paper. If you ask me despite loving the electronic medium I can’t live without paper. Its feel, its appearance, Its smell, it’s presence is almost divine .
The pleasure of reading for me revolves round those printed papers. But still that day the number books stacked around me overwhelmed me. I remember a quote that said ‘ some books are to be swallowed , some are to be chewed and some to be digested’ and definitely what lay around me maximally fell in the first category and may be not even that . What I was looking at definitely fitted the category of ‘information overload’. A lot of people have well defined tastes and discretion about what to read. Most people don’t read. A new category of people has emerged who do read but they are smart. They use electronic versions to read. So what am I trying to bring forth ? Am I convincing myself for e- reads or am I simply irritated with the new breed of authors (specially home grown ones). Or am I coming to the conclusion that its futile haunting book stores? None of it actually and yes am irritated with the rat race of techies writing love stories as if there is nothing substantial to write. It seems even I can compile my blog and make a book and expect someone to make a movie ( is this my hidden desire surfacing .. how crappy). Let me not embarrass myself and quit chaining thoughts without an aim( as per my last post). Let me say it’s more about my appreciation for the presence of paper in our lives way back since the papyrus. I still have all letters from my friends intact with me. This year I am trying hard to reconnect with my friends from different phases of my life through electronic letters but the hand written ones are precious. In this fast world we tend to both underuse and overuse paper. But as I pictured a rainforest dipped in ink. I believe we need to rever it. We need to learn to use it the right way. I remember reading it somewhere that Gandhi ji respected the worth of paper and used the space left in even in old envelops. No matter how high tech the future becomes I believe the thrill of writing on a fresh sheet of paper has no compare and so does the nostalgia of an accidentally discovered handwritten note from a grandparent (who is no more).


  1. Hey!! Awesome post.. a nice comment on reading habit, a nostalgic trip to bygone days, serching soul-striking living moments in the seemingly still black-backgrounds or just a reconnection with your reading habits! Don't know where to categorize this post of yours ?
    However!! SometHing I would love to share with you.. I hardly take snaps of my friends.. butI have saved the memoirs of all my good friends in their own handwritings im my diary.(till my graduation days)They thus still seems to talk to me everytime I open that diary.
    I really loved the manner you expressed your strong connection with handwritten words!
    Somewhere thus got attached with you even more than before!!

  2. Nice post. I agree that in this age when amazon ( not the rainforest, but the bookstore )is coming up with new gadgets to e-read , people who really believe in the power of reading prefer the printed format of the book ... yeah , i do get irritated with the inane stories too... i sometimes wonder who pays to publish them !!!

    i don't think ur blog will make it to bollywood ...not so soon anyway. There are a good number of idiots ahead of u r almost at last shall i say raise ur bar ...or lower them :P ...not ur game :)

    This post did remind me of the thrill i felt at recieving a anonymous penpal hand written letter. No Email ever felt the same.

    you still have all ur colour pencils with you ... enjoy writing :)


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