I love books!

I luv books. I loooooove books. I liiike books. I .. mm .. like books.

These were some of the responses at our very first, the inaugural, meeting of Talking Books at Tulika on Saturday, November 17. We were huddled in a brightly lit corner of the lovely new space that is the Tulika bookstore and office off TTK Road: Atharva, Advait, Ansh, Janani, Tulika (yes!), Udbhav, Vaishali and Varshini. Hajara joined us a little while later and our circle of Talking Books grew bigger. Ask anybody who loves to read: They all have their favourite places to curl up with a book and lose themselves in its pages. The bed is hot on the list, even if parents are not entirely pleased with the prospect. Fair enough, not exactly good for posture or for the eyes, is it? But for the soul, oh, the soul!

Especially, as one Talker Abouter confided, it was her mum’s bed that she was not allowed to sleep in but was allowed to read in because, well, “at least she’s reading”. Way to go, Mum! My mum used to yell at me all those decades ago because lying on my side in bed, reading with one eye closed, was my favourite place. As she predicted, I soon ended up wearing spectacles, with the power different in each eye. But I continued to read, and still do, like a dog with a curly tail.

But the best idea was Janani’s: She has a little reading corner in her room, appointed with soft toys and cushions, that she retreats to when she wants to read. Now, that’s an idea worth exploring, right? We can all create our own reading corners in our own special way. It could be a favourite chair now designated The Reading Chair. Or it could be a corner where two walls meet, with you sitting down on the cool, cool floor, legs spread-eagled, books to the right and left of you. This could be The Reading Corner. Maybe even the bus ride going back home, although I wouldn’t recommend it; our roads are not geared for a smooth ride and a jerky ride is really really bad for the eyes. But you can close your eyes and lose yourself in the world of the book you’re currently reading or have just finished. That’s right: The Thinking About Books Ride would be Just Right!

If you and I can’t stop reading, what hope do we have with Cody? Can’t Stop Cody by Abhay Prasad and Nanditta Chibber shares the story of Vismay, a young man who acquires an energetic and lovable Pointer (that’s a breed) from an animal shelter in San Francisco. He names his pet dog, Cody. Since no one had read the book although a couple knew about it, we took a short dip into chapter three, called ‘Cody’s Walkscapades’. It left us feeling curious, excited, amused and quite frankly, exhausted. Cody’s energy levels are something else! Then, just for fun, we dipped into chapter three of Every Dog Has Its Tale by Ranjit Lal, the Gerald Durrell of India. Some things seemed similar, but ever so many things were different.

If you want to know what these were, you will have to read these books yourself. How about it? Give the books a shot and let us know how you feel. And tell us all about your own reading corners too. Until then… bow wow and woof woof!

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