Sunday, October 18, 2009

Books are the best gifts!


Candle-lit dinners, moonlight strolls, night-outs are all fun, but when it comes to me, nothing does it better than a book. On my birthday today, I got 5 books and I have gift coupons left for any other book that I could want.

Each book that I got/bought today has a story to say. The story of how they got to me, that is.

Less than a week ago, I went along with a couple of friends, to a bookstore here. While looking through the exhaustive collection and continually wondering about the fact that 'there are just so many books out there and so little time', I got hold of Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel. Now, Mr. Tharoor is one of my favourite people on Twitter - an excellent writer, be it in 140 characters, or one large book. The book's back cover quoted someone saying ' Perhaps the best work of fiction written by an Indian ' while another reviewer remarks - 'Every sane Indian should buy a copy of this book'.

Perhaps the second comment hit me most, since I went to my friend and told her about how we'd missed out on such a great book. Voila, today, I open the gift my friends give me, and there's the book. A beautiful moment of bliss when I saw the familiar cover. I told you- books make my day.

And then, my Mum gave me the most wonderful gift of them all - a gift voucher worth quite a lot of money and asked me to buy as many books as I want. That was bliss. My weakness for political, India-related books is quite well-known to anyone who knows me. Predictably, I picked M.J.Akbar's biography of Nehru- Nehru: The Making of India. Both of these men are people I love to read/read about. It's a huge book and I hope it is a fitting tribute to a leader of Nehru's stature.


India After Gandhi was the next book I picked. Another HUGE book. Written by eminent author Ramachandra Guha and praised as the 'Book of the Year' by the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Outlook etc, this book, I think, should be bought by every Indian. I'm looking forward to reading it.

I bought Jane Eyre. I've read it before, of course, but it's been quite some time and I need a reread, so I figured that I should buy the book for myself. Ever since I saw BBC's version of Jane Eyre ( yes, the one starring Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochestor), I've wanted to read through the book again.


Finally, the most expensive book that I bought today: India Remembered by Pamela Mountbatten. I just couldn't resist buying the book. It's an insider's view of the last days of the British in India - one subject that I find myself absolutely addicted to. It has valuable letters,a treasure-trove of beautiful photographs of moments that made India what it is. I decided this book is any collector's 'must-buy'. I'm no great collector of artifacts, books related to that period, but flipping through the pages of the book, written by the daughter of India's last viceroy, I couldn't help but get the book for myself. I think its one of those books to be preserved and handed down from generation to generation.

And what's the irony of all this? I can't read all this now because I have some excellent books waiting to be read, books that need to be returned to the library. I'm reading Tharoor's India: From Midnight to the Millenium and I'm looking forward to reading the much-acclaimed book by Markus Zusak - The Book Thief, as well as George Orwell's epic Nineteen Eighty-four. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing them all!

P.S. If you have a friend who you know is a book-lover, gift them books. Nothing can make them happier. Seriously.

4 comments:

Paperback Reader said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kals! I love giving and receiving books as gifts, there really is nothing better.

I am rereading Nineteen Eighty-Four for my book group next month and look forward to your thoughts.

Kals said...

Thank you! I'd love to discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four with you! It ought to be interesting :)

JoAnn said...

You share a birthday with my sisters (they're twins)! I agree with you - books are the best gifts. Hope you had a lovely day.

Kals said...

Oh, that's cool! :D Thank you so much, I did =)

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