Skip to main content

e-Classics anyone?

You know what I did today ? Browsed the web for e-classics.
It was heartwarming to see that so many titles were available for free. I could find free books in all categories, fiction & non fiction. I was thrilled to find a lot more titles available in the selection of Bret Harte's short stories. I thought I had read them all. Same was true about Jane Austin whose 2 more novels are available online -but not in the book stores.

Are e-books here to stay ? I somehow feel it will be a long time before the society becomes truely paperless. The harm this constant reading online is going to do to our eye sight is something that is not difficult to imagine. But a true reader doesn't fear myopia
I remember - when I was young, my father used to scold me that I will go blind before twenty if I keep reading day & night !!! I just doubled the quota of books -Because I better finish as many books as possible before that happens and even toyed with the idea of learning braille !!!!

Where do e-books fit in with the reading habits of people ?

Can you take your e-book to bed at night , keep reading till you feel pleasently drowsy & fall asleep with your e-book on your chest ?

Can you carry your e-book with you & sit on a park bench ?

Can you lend your e-book to a friend with firm reminders to 'return it or else' ?

Can you inhale the smell of a new e-book like I do with every new book I buy ?

Can you go hunting for e-books into old e-book stores- looking for treasures among dusty shelves- trying to read the previous owner's name & wonder why a Miss Julie Fernandes found it necessary to underline every sentimental passage in the book with red ink ?

Some readers even try to help by writing on the inner cover ' Not worth the money I spent ' You don't just buy a book - but also a piece of the previous owners history.

I once found a whole collection of beautiful hard bound books that looked like they came from some one's cherished library. I read the name on the yellowed page- F.R.E. Dadibhoy. & wondered what they were doing on the side walks of Matunga . I wanted to buy them all. That was one of the very few times I wished I was a millionaire !!
By the dates on the cover it was clear that Mr. Dadibhoy couldn't still be around to read the books. But couldn't the heirs to his fortune provide a home for them ?

May be the books were regarded as a 'Nuisance' - taking a lot of space & collecting dust. May be in the place of the bookshelves they now have a giant TV to watch latest DVDs & CDs, & may be a state of the art computer.... on which they now read e-books !!!

May be I am not destined to be loved by the trees :(

( This was written 2 years ago, but the sentiments remain unchanged.)


Popular posts from this blog

California Summer

I always knew that this visit was going to be different from my earlier visits to this country. Older I get (sigh!), more I find myself shifting from iWANT to iHAVE. This doesn't apply to iPAD of course, but that is indulgence with a capital I.

 When asked what I wanted to do during my visit, images rushed to my mind. It surprised me to find out that most were about food. Anderson's Pea soup, the corn bread and honey which I had for breakfast in Arizona, the square slices from the Round Table pizza, the baked garlic with bread and olive oil in Nepenthe...enchiladas stuffed which cheese with a side order of refried beans and fried rice...not to mention margaritas... boiled corn on cob with melting butter eaten at a camping trip..sourdough bread which is a part of american history...the list was unending. " You need to go on a strict diet" was my brother's detached summing up. Maybe so..maybe so.

Leaving the food aside I would love to visit gardens. I still dream …

A credit card for free.

“ This is for you ma’am, compliments of the store”. The attendant at the cash counter handed me a credit card. I pushed it away as if it was on fire.
“ No thanks. I don’t use them much. And I have one already.”
The attendant looked at me pityingly. I always have this horrid suspicion that attendant kids always pity me.
Next twenty minutes were spent explaining to me, how , with the shop’s own ‘Privileged customer’ card and the additional credit card I was going to save thousands of rupees, not to mention earn brownie points and win free gifts like diamond earrings, DVD players, and a free trip to Goa.
“ And ma’am, it’s free!” That clinched the matter. A free card can’t hurt me much, can it?

After reaching home I pushed the unwanted card at the back of my desk drawer, and forgot about it. One year was over. And I started receiving bills for the never used card. I questioned the shop, and reminded them that they had said – Free card, no service charges.
“ Only for one year ma’am! Now you w…

Tito and the Call girls.

"See, one more girl has gone in" Tito whispered to me urgently. I tried to take a look over my shoulder, but couldn’t. As the nature hadn't designed my neck to turn in 180 degrees, I had to depend entirely on the faint reflections in the glass door opposite me and Tito’s dramatic narration.

We were sitting in a fancy downtown restaurant. as we were meeting after a long time there was a lot of catching up to do. Right in the middle of ‘what happened to ...’ Tito broke off to exclaim in a shocked tone .."I say- these girls look like hook- I mean... call girls. Is this THAT kind of a joint?"

I was a little surprised to find this puritanical streak in Tito. I wasn't sure if I entirely approved.
In this metro city of ours I have stopped worrying about who does what for a living. From Barrister to Bar girl, each has to battle on the same turf every single day.

"Hmmmm ….May be they are" I mumbled into my wine. Having wine for lunch made me feel deliciously …