Spice of life | Journey of a book lover from print to pixel | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Spice of life | Journey of a book lover from print to pixel

Though Kindle failed to kindle an e-book romance in my life, I’m glad that it has introduced many young minds to the joy of reading or rather portable reading, much to their preference

punjab Updated: Jun 28, 2017 12:00 IST
Parminder Kaur
(Shutterstock)

It was not love at first sight nor a match made in heaven. In fact, this love story can’t even brag about a theatrical debut wherein a sudden waft of cool breeze gently caresses the face, soulful melody plays in the background and the heart skips a beat, all so immortalised by tinsel town. It is indeed a tale of true passion but not in context of a mortal being, it’s about my adulation for the incredible manifestation of human imagination, weaved into animated expressions and printed onto pristine sheets for posterity, christened as Books. My kinship with books is a sweet saga of companionship, gradually nurtured over the years.

My childhood frolicked in times when scores of entertainment channels didn’t vie for our time and attention. In the absence of swanky gadgets and extravagant outings, we were hardly spoilt for choice when it came to recreation, especially during the vacations. After hours of daring playoff with sun and sand, we used to embark on an adventurous journey, delving deep into the make-believe world of Tintin, Phantom, Chacha Choudhry, Champak and other comic books. It was my first brush with the charismatic art of storytelling and its power to draw the reader.

As I graduated from school to college, the comic books also came of age and lost their innocent repartee to the exhilarating romance of Mills and Boons, stealthily changing hands in my gang of girls. Thereon, I gradually discovered the kaleidoscopic world of books in its myriad form be it fiction or non-fiction, promising a perennial source of never-ending joy and wisdom.

My friendship with books is for keeps, immune to the volatility of transitional relations in life. But, like all love stories mine too had to face trials of time or rather paucity of time, a potent side-effect of our exacting lifestyle. Then, there were other techlicious distractions threatening to sabotage my enduring bond with the books. While I effectively managed to trounce many e-temptations, I do confess being fleetingly smitten by yet another technological wonder, a portable e-book reader.

Enticed by its many avant-garde features, I got entangled in an agonising debate over whether to ditch my age old love for the printed version in favour of this digital charmer. But then, it’s never easy to let go of your first love. Feeling guilty of betrayal, I checked out the suave nemesis of my loyal friend. The first thing that struck me while holding the e-reader was the lack of physical and emotional connect. Reading a printed book nestled in your hands is a pleasure trip for the senses, its pages gently caress your fingers while turning over the leaf, its inimitable scent overwhelms you and its animated characters befriend you for life. I am not ready to trade this surreal experience with swiping the screen of an impassive gadget.

Though Kindle failed to kindle an e-book romance in my life, I’m glad that it has introduced many young minds to the joy of reading or rather portable reading, much to their preference. I couldn’t agree more with Hungarian novelist Lazlo Krasznahorkai’s thought that, “Devices are not dangerous for literature. People can be dangerous for literature. People, for example, who do not read.”

The writer is a Ludhiana-based freelance contributor