I Can’t Lose Myself in Books Anymore

Confessinons of a Book-Addict

Confessinons of a Book-Addict (Photo credit: -Georg-)

I’m getting older. In another year and a month, I will be 30. I discovered yet another grey hair on my head a couple of months ago, bringing the grand total up to 2. I can’t really eat an excess of chips and fries without it disagreeing with me (I once breakfasted for a whole week on a packet of chips). I can’t drink alcohol 5 days in a row, and I certainly cannot stay up all night. And, perhaps most tragically of all, I can’t lose myself in books anymore.

I know I can still lose myself in stories. Just the other day, the hubby and I were watching The Practice reruns and we caught the ‘Head in a Medical Bag’ case. As the episode  drew close to its end, I found myself growing nervous. I was worried about the fate of the defendant, George Vogelman, because I believed he was innocent. I was so worried in fact, that when the judge asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict?”, I gathered up a handful of my husband’s leg in my hand and twisted it.

I haven’t done anything like that in a long time with a book though. And I must admit, I have been worried about it. “I can’t seem to read two pages without falling asleep,” I complained to my husband. He agreed and pointed out that just the previous night, I fell asleep with my glasses still on and my left index finger marking the paragraph I was on.

And I know it’s not the books that are to blame. I read Gone Girl a few months ago. Anyone who read it raved about it. I stalked the local bookstores for months before the book finally hit India. In fact, I was so impatient that I just ordered a more expensive copy online, rather than wait for it. And no, I wouldn’t even do this for Murakami’s new or the second part of Marquez’s memoirs. I did it for Gone Girl because the numerous reviews I read online promised me that this book was ‘unputdownable’. That I would “stay up all night reading it”. And that “the twist halfway through the book will make me drop it in shock”. And I really, badly needed to feel all that.

Only, I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong: I think Gillian Flynn has crafted a cracker of a story. The characters are superb, the twists are truly shocking and the bare carcass of the marriage that she portrays is chilling. In short, I enjoyed the book. Also, I read it on a train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. So I didn’t really get the chance to see if it would keep me up all night, but I have a sinking feeling that I would have fallen asleep two pages into this book too, if I had been lying down on my bed while reading it.

I’m a person who has always lost herself in books.  As a child of 10, I would get home from school and immediately plop down with a Famous Five – even during exam time. I gulped down Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone in one afternoon. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I read The Kite Runner, and I couldn’t stop laughing out loud when reading PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams. I was so horrified by the incest in one of Sidney Sheldon‘s books (I forget which one), that I moved about in a cloud of gloom for days. And I couldn’t sleep the night I read the first few chapters of The Dreamcatcher. But  I don’t remember the last time any of this has happened to me with a book.

It must be the fact that I’m getting older, obviously, as well as the fact that I have responsibilities to my work and family. But that doesn’t make it any easier to accept the realization that I can’t lose myself in books anymore. In fact, it really, really sucks.

I’m currently reading The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. It’s the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I can tell that its an rollicking good read, full of adventure and magic and mystery and had I read this a few years earlier, I would have devoured it in less than a week.  As it happens, I have been struggling with this book for two months now. I’ve been abandoning books too, in fact, I read the first three books in the Song of Ice & Fire series, and with the fourth I have been stumbling. I have started on it twice now, only to stop after reading the first 3 chapters, because I had to review some other book. There just isn’t enough time, is there, to read all the books you want?

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Where Have I Been?

coppersmith barbetRight here! Although, I must admit that I was lost. You see, what happened was that I discovered a crazy world once I got a permanent job again (last year), and I realized, that the internet has a ton of stuff that I have not yet discovered (I know, I know…BIG surprise). Anyway, so while I was away and not doing my duty by blogging, I was doing the following:

1) Reading and reviewing books: Yes, that continues, although at a much slower rate than before. And THIS time, someone (People magazine, to be precise) is paying me for my reviews. Big Yay!

2) Working: Like, duh! Obviously, I have to work if I get a job. It’s time-consuming but fun, especially since it helps me discover new things, as I said before (For instance, I got to work with this awesome company)

3) I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. Most of it is so-so. Some of it is really good, like the vegetable dalia with peanuts that I made.Yes, not original, but so what? And yes, I discovered that super tiny dalia can be passed off as cous cous.

4) I’ve been doing some writing. THIS I have been really unhappy about because I should have been doing LOTS of writing, but it seems like I’m more committed to my daily bread-and-butter than to my so-called passion. In any case, I have written some poetry, worked on a few fragments and abandoned one more novel.

6) Birwatching: So far, I have spotted the coppersmith barbet, common tailorbird, Indian golden oriole, greater coucal, scaly-breasted munia. Yes, it’s not a lot. And that’s mostly because I do it from my balcony.

5) I FINALLY learned how to ride a scooter – properly – in traffic. And this is bad, mad traffic so I figure that another few months of this and I will be able to drive anywhere in the world.

Oh, and those things that I discovered: some lovely, design-y things called Infographics! I mean, that’s not even a real world and MS word keeps highlighting it for spell-check, but whatever…I love it. Period. So, why don’t you take a look at this one that I found, about one of my favourite books.


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