Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just a Book

Everybody's ranting about the latest Harry Potter. Why they want to read it, why they don't. Why they think the hype is unnecessary, why the books are the greatest thing since sliced bread. No, I'm giving any links here because I've been reading too many opinions to go around tracking them all down once more.

And when I read MM's two cents on the issue, I commented "It's just a book."

But you know what happened in my house today? I was dog-tired and falling asleep when Rahul woke up from his nap, so I asked V to dump him in the bed next to me. I woke up an hour later to find Rahul chewing up the book I had been reading. He had torn off the cover and the first two pages (the story though is intact) and was chewing through them.

I lost my cool and smacked him a couple of times. Yelled for V and then yelled at him for not leaving a few toys around so that The Bhablet wouldn't have made a beeline for my book. And then I lay in bed crying and feeling very sorry for myself.

You see, this book was a childhood favourite. Bought when we were entering slightly more prosperous days and could afford to buy books. Hunted in bookshops in various cities and bought with love. It's still not very easy to find Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Girl in a bookstore. And I love my copy, it has just so many memories attached. I have already had my heart broken by the books damaged by the termite attack this year. So I really saw red when I saw what Rahul had done. It took me a couple of hours to calm down and forgive him.

I know, it was just a book, in the larger scheme of things. But to me personally, very few books are just books. My library is a very personal thing to me, and the books in it are mostly very valuable from an emotional point of view. And when the book in question happens to be from my childhood, it really hurts to watch it being destroyed like that. Particularly now that I have practically given up buying books (except the odd Harry Potter, of course) because I don't spend money like that on myself any more, it hurts to lose what has become so particularly precious.

But the fact remains that my son is more important than a book which hopefully I will be able to replace. (If not he will buy it for me with his pocket money when he has some. Even if he has to hunt it down like I did.) Anyway, before I get carried away once more let me earnestly assure you that The Bhablet and I have hugged and made up, and I do know he is more precious than a book.

It's just that my comment got me thinking.

14 comments:

Joshua said...

It's so nice for me to have found this blog of yours, it's so interesting. I sure hope and wish that you take courage enough to pay me a visit in my PALAVROSSAVRVS REX!, and plus get some surprise. My blog is also so cool! Don't think for a minute that my invitation is spam and I'm a spammer. I'm only searching for a public that may like or love what I write.

Feel free off course to comment as you wish and remember: don't take it wrong, don't think that this visitation I make is a matter of more audiences for my own blogg. No. It's a matter of making universal, realy universal, all this question of bloggs, all the essential causes that bring us all together by visiting and loving one another.

You must not feel obliged to come and visit me. An invitation is not an intimation. Also know that if you click on one of my ads I'm promised to earn 8 cents for that: I would feel happy if you did click it, but once again you're totaly free to do what ever you want. I, for instance, choose immediatly to click on one of your ads, in case you have them. To do so or not, that's the whole beauty of it all.

I think it's to UNITE MANKIND that we became bloggers! Don't see language as an obstacle but as a challenge (though you can use the translater BabelFish at the bottom of my page!) and think for a minute if I and the rest of the world are not expecting something like a broad cumplicity. Remenber that pictures talk also. Open your heart and come along!!!!!

the mad momma said...

aarrrgghhhh!!! its not about the book sue. not you too!!! its abt a lack of ability to think clearly when things are being hyped. my bokos are my most precious posession. and i rarely say, its just a book. Tharini sent me a bookmark because i am so particular about mine!

Opaline said...

I grew up on my mother's old books, brittle brown paged loosely bound and she would see red everytime another page came loose or a cover was torn accidentaly, she'd be angry for hours on end. I completely understand, chhotobelar boi (and I cant find an equivalent phrase in English that sounds as nice) very special.

And my blog also so cool.

Y said...

hey sue

you were right..the book is great..and now its over..sob!

don't care much for or about the hype - just happy it didn't put me off and I read it and enjoyed it!

sorry to hear about your chewed up book...

your comments section is really funny today...ha ha ha...'my blog is also so cool', it seems...ha ha ha...it's a topic for a post on its own...

:-)

Moppet's Mom said...

Hey, I love An Old Fashioned Girl too - my own copy is safely preserved in Ahd, away from my little vandal :-)

the mad momma said...

LOL! your last two posts are about my posts... I know i am inspiring.. :p but.. i didnt realise it was to this extent!

Sue said...

Joshua -- You're funny.

MM -- It's not about your post, it's about my comment.

Opaline -- I understand your mother's anger. It really hurts when they are wantonly damaged. Glad to hear about your blog.

Y -- Exactly, the hype didn't matter at all to me. I was addicted already!

But MM -- I agree you did the smart thing by reading at night and spending the evening with your family. In my case, anything to get away from these two idiots, so I prefered Harry Potter!

Rimi said...

The irony of it was that my MUM lent some of my older illustrated books to her students once, ones that she had bought for me when books were a rare luxury and had inscribed things like, "To my darling Mana, lots and lots of love, Ma", and the student thought it was a gift and never returned it.

I could barely contain my fury. For days, whenever I thought about them, I felt this big emptiness inside. And I wanted my mum to bear the brunt of it, except she felt a bit like the victim too. I mean, SHE gave away the books which I adored (although I no longer read) because they were a gift from HER.

Sigh. I wouldn't wish this on any child. Anger and confusion don't go well together.

dipali said...

Poor Sue and poor Bhablet. Poor V for getting a well deserved yelling- I guess he didn't realise that you have to always be two steps ahead of an infant if you don't want to land in the Suep! Glad to know that you and The Bhablet are on speaking terms again. I have also loved my books passionately but having had so many pinched and lost over the years am trying to detach from them a bit, for the sake of my own sanity.
I cannot say, in all honesty, that 'it's just a book', but I am trying to learn to say that 'it's only another material object'.

dipali said...

PS- Joshua's comment made my day!

vicky said...

Next time don't keep books lying around in bed. I've said that before.

But you still do.

Sue said...

Moppet's Mom -- Hey, a fellow Alcott addict! Which ones do you have?

MM -- There, there. Has the swelling in your head come down a bit now?

Rimi -- Oh, I would be very angry if my mother did that. But our rule is to never lend without each others' permission. That way, the borrower also knows whose book they are borrowing.

Dipali -- I have tried the "only a material object" bit. Obviously, still need to work harder on that one! Incidentally, if you come up with puns like that I shall seriously reconsider my continued association with you!

V -- Come on. I fell asleep. And you know I had taught him to leave books alone until you started giving them to him once more.

Sam said...

Termites did something, then the mite did his mite...

Sue said...

Sam -- Baba?