Spent the last Sunday evening at the bookstore – a lovely one I must say. Picked up a Fredrick Forsyth(FF), a PG Wodehouse and a David Baboulene today! Not one of my more intellectual picks – unless you want to slot FF as an academician – he really does a ton of research, this guy.

I wonder why evenings at the bookstore are so pleasant – possibly because its akin to meeting friends?  Friends who have taught you stuff, who have made you laugh and helped you spend endless hours of travel (oh course!).

I think this is really the reason – the book to the reader is not just a “thing made of paper” but a living entity spending “quality time” with you.  For a while, you share a world that you never thought you’d inhabit (in many cases you never suspected exist!) and come away a little changed, a trifle broader in outlook, a different and many-a-time better person. It’s like meeting college buddies after a long, long time and catching up on a million things.

I was picking a Fredrick Forsyth book (Cobra) after a very long time. I picked it hesitantly – I wasn’t travelling and I didn’t know if I would still be interested in espionage and dagger stories. As I dug into the book though, I started reliving the FF experience –  intriguing starts, a steady build-up packed with research that would probably have won him a doctorate in most universities and a pulsating finish that led to the last 100+ pages being devoured in a sitting. Think about meeting one of those strong and silent friends who shared exciting stories on a wayside beach (playing truant from school of course!).  Oh nostalgia – and I know now more about the cocaine industry than most people do!

The PG Wodehouse (Joy in the morning) was like spending time with friends and family at Deepavali (or Christmas if you prefer) – breezy, spontaneous, filled with eccentric meetings and entirely devoid of malice. It was perhaps my third reading (over a couple of decades) and I was left cheering toward the end. Its puts the rose in your cheeks and a step in your stride – what more can you ask for – recommended reading for everyone.

David Baboulene takes you back to your college days – he and his friends are the “bad boys” – guys you always wanted to be but never were! If excesses are your cup of tea, go for this one by all means – but if you are a preacher, please stay away!……..

The books are all read and put away now and it almost feels like home just after a rollicking party – the afterglow remains. Should probably visit again next week and rediscover more friends (and some new ones too) – will keep this blog updated………….

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