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Never say never and never say never, ever, never! Because you don’t know when life throws a challenge at you and you have no option but to accept it. Especially when the challenge is cleverly shrouded in the form your very purpose of life that you exist for. In my case, books. I’m a certified and unashamed bibliophile who can be found with a book at the  most improbable of places. Perched up on an uncomfortable stool with a book ( or more recently, a Kindle) in a shop inside a mall or struggling to read the next sentence while I try to balance myself in a super crowded metro where people are pushing and jostling for a nano-scopic space to hold their left toe to the ground.  I am a voracious reader, incapable of conceiving my life without the musty smell of books, a book shelf crammed with these beauties  that I have collected over a period of time and the feel of the fingers turning the pages of them , ever so slowly. Books are my choice of drugs. Not tea, not coffee, books. And coming from a self-confessed teaholic like me , it’s a statement that should not be taken lightly at all. I need to see them around me, sleep with my current read next to me and be surrounded by the thought of them. Obsession? No, just pure, unadulterated , insane love.

Over the years , my attachment to them has transcended all boundaries.  When I am not reading, I’m trying to sneek a look at the fellow commuter ‘s read. What is she reading? Have I read it? What does she think of what she is reading? Oh ! she’s reading THAT book! I must tell her that I absolutely adore her current read. These and many more questions  throng my mind, the moment I see a book in someone else’s hand. Often earning me a puzzled look that you would only  give a person who is out of her mind.  My closeness to them is inversely related to my intimacy with people.  I have gradually found that I am  incapable of interacting with people expect when absolutely necessary.  The story here takes a slightly different turn, an unexpected one at that. Who wants more than a book and a cup of steaming hot chai to have a good time? Clearly not me! And then a few weeks back I found myself amidst people! The very same species, whom I have consciously distanced myself from.  I had  joined a Facebook group  that provided curated  book deals that held an instant appeal to the hoarder that I am and ended up coordinating and attending book meets.  With time I have preferred lazy weekends spending my time in bed with a book. In this process I had forgotten what a pleasure it could be to interact with strangers on a shared interest. The two book meets that I ended up coordinating , the invigorating discussions, the nervous energy that walked with me as my halo while I stressed upon the smallest of details is worth treasuring for  the remainder of my life. I was ecstatic to connect to people who loved books as much as I did, perhaps even more. All else ceases to exist around you but the conversation flowes effortlessly. The age differences diffuse, the gender of the fellow bibliophiles is insignificant, how you earn your livelihood is of no interest to anyone. What remains is just intense desire to have a collective bibliophilic orgasm.

I can go to any length to own a good book. The length last week was an eight hour  volunteer duty in a bookshop cum café for the sale of their used books. What a super fun and busy weekend it was. Books, books and books all the way. Surrounding by the most amazingly well written books, people who breathe books and talk breathlessly about them. The busiest Sunday that has been a rollercoaster ride, exhilarating and totally adrenalin pumping. A bookshop where the owner was feeding sinfully drool worthy chocolate brownies with his own hands because our hands were engaged elsewhere. Billing the books, arranging the books or simply holding them close to our hearts ( I was reprimanded affectionately for doing this). I did not manage to get a single book that I had eyed all along the day but to be able to buy books in itself fills you with a sense of achievement. Yet another baby in my arms.  

In between having a full time job, reading like a maniac, constantly updating my "To Be Read" list with more additions, going broke with impulsive buys at throw away prices, coordinating and attending book meets, planning in my next destination and my next read, scrounging for places that offer the most yummilicious food that appeal to the economic sense of the miser in me, I have found myself. A place where I belong, a patch of abstraction to call my own. Living my life and soaking in every moment of it.

Insanity when surpasses all levels, becomes the new sanity. You don’t believe it? I’m a living proof of that. A proof who takes pride in being an embodiment of insanity. A nutcase you say? Well, perhsps yes, but a nut case who is totally and completely in love with books. And I love being that way


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