November 2, 2006
There are so many jobs that weigh heavy on my mind these days that I have started to feel jittery as I find myself unable to handle so much on my own. The termites have launched a fresh attack on my books though I tried hard to get the Bookcase free from the menace of termites. So I have done what a book lover would do, got all books out of the racks/cases and they now occupy all the space that is free in my home. I have somehow come to accept their present placement and feel comfortable with books all around me.
Today in the evening when “Bokaro”, Srijan’s Chief Student Editor came to meet me, he was pleasantly surprised to find the novel Hannibal by Thomas Harris, perching cozily on the top of a heap of books, right there on the sofa of my, what may be called a, drawing room. Ecstatic at finding the novel, he just grabbed it and wanted to carry it back to his hostel. But his enthusiasm gave way to a resigned expression when he realized the heavy work load that awaited him. The Hill ‘ffair would be on by tomorrow evening and so much still needs to be managed by the devoted students. He had another thought and promised to come after three days when the Hill ‘ffair would be over. The poor boy realized that much as he would like to read the novel, his pre-occupancy in the Hill’ffair as an organizer, would never let him do that!!
Even he felt bad to see the harm that termites had caused to my gem of books and was saddened. He had another brilliant suggestion that the books may be put in my office where from students can borrow whatever they want to read. Not a bad suggestion as it would give the much needed fresh air to the books when they circulate among people who really appreciate and value them.
So another job on my already tight work schedule is to get all the books documented and listed and to put them in some logical order so as I could help someone get what one wants to read.
A good start it may be as I would be maintaining a record of who has taken the book as earlier I have lost many a books that some careless readers never bothered to return back. Honestly speaking, when it comes to books, I am pretty selfish. I am never going to forgive one student who has taken my “The Fountainhead” as this particular edition was the one that I always loved to read. Now you might say what is so different in the edition when all editions carry the same story. There is a magic in some editions! My little one loved one edition of “Pride and Prejudice” but over the years it had lost the last few pages so I thought of getting for her another copy but could find the latest edition of the book. And it really didn’t have the magical impact of the earlier book and we would read the older edition to achieve real delight out of reading and would grudgingly read last few pages from the new edition. And can you believe even the happy ending of the book, Darcy finally seeking his love in Elizabeth, would not seem worth the delight that it deserved to give.
So much for the books and their editions!