It was just like any other day and the streets of Connaught Place in Delhi were buzzing with the usual chaos and madness. I am a Delhiite and Connaught Place is second home. Inspite of that and spending more than three decades here, I had never been to the Anil Book Corner. It is situated in the middle circle right next to PVR Plaza. It’s just before Caffe Tonino. You just cannot miss it. I feign my ignorance to the online buying culture of books since the last ten years or the fact that every mall has a book store so I tend to hop in, buy and move out. Anyways, there was something about the book store that made me stopped. Perhaps it was looking for second hand books that were online costing around Rs 5,000 to 10,000 and would have been here for a fraction of the price. I picked up two books, one self help and the other a fiction.
Our discussion swayed over the famous fear, ‘The dying love of book reading’. The younger lot is 24X7 busy in their mobile phones and laptop screens and ebooks have further taken the buzz. People like him and I do not understand the fun of reading ebooks or Kindle or the likes. For us, a book in hand is the real book worth reading. Till the time we don’t flip the pages or fold a page or underline something that touched the heart, does it even qualify as reading?
Call me old school or old fashion, a hard copy is what I understand. There are ebooks lying in my inbox, unopened and will never get opened. There is a sense of belonging with the physical copy. I take it with me to cafes, meetings and even vacations. What’s life without one! It’s that feeling of emptiness that surrounds without one and only those can understand who have felt that connection with their books. It’s basically unexplainable. The below quote can somewhat decipher my feeling.
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney
So the last word, reach to this store and buy second hand books at a very low cost. You can even exchange your books with pre-used ones there. That’s a good way to get rid of the old stock and get new (read pre-used) ones. There is no smell sweater than the smell of a book!
I am heading there soon to get my refill of books. And you YOYO generation, pick up the hard copies. They are not only good for the eyes but good for the soul too. The connection you will make with the book, its characters and its author, no way can be achieved with the online books. And when someone said, “Books are your best friends”, he meant the hard copies. So go, grab one.
Here’s wishing all the bibliophiles a very happy reading and do let me know the book you’re reading in the comments below. I am reading Enduring Love by Ian McEwan at the moment.
*Photos by a dear friend since decades.