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.