Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Books And Happiness

A few weeks ago, J helped me write short synopses of her five favorite books from last year for a post I did for Saffron Tree. I have blogged several times about my undiminished sense of wonderment in the American public library system. That is possibly the first thing I loved about this country and it continues to top the list.All the books I ever owned were hand me downs from relatives or friends who no longer wanted them or bought really cheap at second hand book-stores.

It was just not the done thing in my family to go off any buy books "randomly" as my mother would like to say. The first question she would ask if I wanted to buy one was "Will you read it a second time ?". If the answer was no, purchase was out of the question. While there was still such a thing as the USSR, every year there would be a Soviet book fair in my town and that was the time I could buy a few books. My parents allowed this "indulgence" mainly because they were so cheap. The thrill of bringing my books home to look them over, is unlike anything else I experienced in my childhood.

To this day, I put a lot of thought before actually buying a book but there is a huge assortment at home at any given time thanks to the bounty of the public library. Like me, J has come to depend almost on it entirely for her reading needs. The happy faces of the children crowded around an illustrated book in this article on the mission of Pratham Books made me count my blessings yet again - I tried to imagine the look on the faces of these kids if they too could have twenty or more books each of their choice and get to keep them for a couple of months only to get that many more new ones. Pratham is obviously doing an amazing job bringing books and therefore the joy of reading to children who otherwise may have been deprived of both.


Julia Dutta said...

At last i know who you are NS :))))

Always wondered.....

Maya said...

Thank you so much for mentioning Pratham Books and our mission in your blog post. And thank you for your support.