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Monday, April 05, 2010

Book Picking!

Picking a book. What happens when you pick a book? What are you expecting from it? Are you expecting joy or sadness, or are you wanting to find out the best of nature or sciences? Or better yet, are you just expecting a good read?

This, perhaps is probably one of the few things one expects in books. Why do you say you loved a book? I hated ‘The Wuthering Heights’ when I first read it. Is it because I did not see anything in it? Or perhaps I did not want to see anything in it? Same with ‘Tess of the ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’. These literary giants, both in terms of writing and the emotion they can make you feel are perhaps the qualifying factors in reading these books.

If I hated ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, then its purpose was achieved. Thomas Hardy’s purpose was achieved. I hated everything about Alec d'Urberville, his very character was enough to make me hate an entire book. How, then had Hardy managed to achieve it? The same with Wuthering Heights, the same with Heathcliff. What a character he was. He was ruthless, yet he managed to have so many people love him and hate him at the same time. Again, why?

Perhaps, I repeat, both these books have achieved their purposes. There are ‘happy’ books, such as those by Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott, who have managed to write incidents from their pasts, and yet managed to have the happy themes going. Why did I like them and hate the former ones? It is simple. I liked everything, but just thought I hated some, not because I hated the authors or even their styles of writing, both of these which were excellent.

If Hardy wanted me to dislike Alec and Bronte, Heathcliff who am I to disagree? So, I did. I disliked, even hated these two characters. By moving me, emotionally to dislike these characters, the authors have managed to make me react. React beautifully, to everything they were writing with the passion they felt, perhaps at that time.

So, when I go to pick a book now, I do not know too much about it. I just walk into a book store and pick up books, randomly. Probably, just read the blurb, if at all, I cannot decide. And this has led me to find possibly some of the best books, even by authors, I did not know. A book also depends on my mood, so ideally I would pick book depending on my mood, that day. But, hey a book is a book is a book. Love it, hate it, but you just can’t live without it.