Breathe. I had to remember to breathe. And stop wringing my hands, stop hovering over the friend’s conversation on WhatsApp, stop fidgeting and for the love of God, stop hyperventilating. But I couldn’t. See, I thought I was ‘over’ this – this intense craving, this indescribable need to possess and…caress. Well, apparently not. I was as addicted as always; maybe I’d been fooling myself with the modern replacement the last few years.
See, my friend is moving out of the country. And she’s getting rid of (blasphemous, yes) the huge (did I say huge? I mean humongous!) collection of books that they had accumulated over the years. Books of the exact genres that I read. Yes, Merry Christmas to you too! But the reason for my restlessness was because she put up the ‘giving away books’ on the public WhatsApp group of the apartment ladies (I should’ve disowned her right then, but dude, humongous books yo! I can bear the betrayal this once) and I DIDN’T WANT MY BOOKS (yes, MINE) to go off to somebody else’s house!!! So, there. After the Kindle, I stopped buying paper books and thanks to my fairy Godmother (commercial name: Amazon.in), I didn’t have to go to bookstores. So I was book-sober, for the past 8 years. Only ebooks. No smell of paper or the feel of those grainy yellowing pages, crisp almost bordering on brittle for the old ones. I was over it. Just like that. Out of sight, out of mind.
Until now. I went over to her place and the entire bed in her spare room was filled with books. It was like a second hand books’ shop. I was in heaven. I wanted to just throw myself on them and sing a song reminiscing the good ol’ times of paper books. (Don’t worry, I didn’t. The bed would’ve been reduced to dust and debris!) The amount of self-control it took me to not lug out all those books back home? Haha, I did not KNOW I had that kind of self-control. Good to know. So, like a complete schmuck, I took 3-4 of them and acted like the bigger person, not giving in to the temptation.
It’s a year and a half later now (yeah, I wrote the above like a year and a half ago, and I found it now, in the Drafts – I know! I suck!) and I’m yet to read those books. Or the other 3-4 books that I got as gifts or a during a momentary lapse of judgment. Because, dude, I cannot read paper books anymore!
When I pick one up, all I can think of is arrghh, my hand hurts..how do I turn the page when I’m holding the book with one hand and eating with the other? What’s this new word, why can’t I tap on it and have the dictionary pop up? Where’s the bookmark, why does my 4yo keep stealing them?! Ughh, the font is so small! The print is so light! Who prints books of such quality?! How am I supposed to mark the page or highlight a line without using a pen or dog-earing the pages? WTF is this nonsense? Why did I even buy this book? I should stick to the Kindle.
Kindle, I love you. You are my savior, my knight in shining black armor, with your savvy buttons and pearl white screen. You, who comes to me in the dead of the night, gives me company till I can fall asleep with you in my arms! You, always with me, so I never feel lonely, so I never have to drink my coffee companion-less. You, who only asks for a measly 2 hours of battery charge, effortlessly updating all my new finds, keeping me from going insane with boredom. You, you, just you.