"After reading a book, you start looking at people differently."
Someone great quoted this some days ago. And it made so much sense not only to her but to everyone who read it. It's amazing how we can connect to some things so perfectly. Especially literature - books, blogs, quotes. You pick up a book, start reading it, start imagining the lead character as you, start observing small things or behave in a particular manner like people do in that book, things which were meaningless so far become a subject of deep introspection.
It happens with me a lot of times. I read books quite slowly. While reading, I usually get lost in the book. Midway I stop reading and start thinking as to what inspired the writer to write it that manner. Does he know anyone who is like this person in his novel? Had I been in his place, how I'd have written about that particular situation? And I end up spending days behind a book that can easily be finished in 2-3 days.
I do not call myself an avid, or to give it a more respectful term, voracious reader. I read a lot, but I am not a fan of what they call good literature. I enjoy reading trash fiction as much as I prefer to read an almost perfect piece of literature. Again quoting the same great person, "A bad book takes an equal amount of time to write." It's easy to diss anything, difficult is to write something, forget being good.
I have read different kinds of books - mostly fiction. Non-fiction never really fascinated me so much. I like to read about characters. The author who can write about his characters more than the story, I would blindly fall in love with him no matter how mediocre he or she would be. When I was young, people considered Ayn Rand to be the most amazing author. Today she is ridiculed so much everywhere. But to me, she still remains the most amazing writer. The way she defined her characters, I am yet to see anyone else with the same kind of powers to write about people.
Recently I read a couple of books which were like diary entries or about personal stories. According to me, to write about your personal experience and thoughts in an interesting manner and make that interesting requires special kind of talent. The most amazing thing was that I was continuously thinking about my blog while reading those books, how they have written in the similar manner. I don't write too well, but I can relate to them. How they can write the same thing in a novel material manner.
And while reading those books, I felt as if I was reading me. About me. By me. And still it was different. A kind of world that would exist in a parallel universe. Those books felt like home. My comfort space. Like a loose tshirt or a faded jacket, like a paijama that can barely hide your ankles but still feels perfect. You live with them while reading them, you miss them while reading something else, just how you compare other books to that one book. It's unfair to other books, but it's difficult not to draw parallels with your favourite one. I become almost human in this regards.
I used to keep each and every book that I read. I never returned them or gave them away. I did share my books with people who respected books, but not with everyone else. Many people never returned them after reading, many lost them too. The ones who lost them never got any other book from me. And today I did something I had never thought I would. I donated most of my collection books. And it felt good just thinking about the fact that many people would borrow them and read them. Those who cannot afford to buy those books, or do not simply want to spend their pocket money behind books they may not like so much.
Someone told me today that for her donating books are like donating your own organs. I'm not so attached to humans too, thus I never felt any such thing for books. But I couldn't donate them till now either. Maybe the idea didn't strike me at all. I decided last evening to donate, and did it today. And it felt amazing. Like doing your bit for the society. Ah I make myself sound so awesome.
PS: The quotes mentioned in this post are written by me.