Sunday, July 18, 2010

Build and They Will Come

Yeah, I am something of a bibliophile. All my young age was spent in the quest for finding a book to read and to lovingly swallow every word. I read them even if I didn’t understand much of it. Not surprising since even now some of the books I read leave me foxed. I don’t know. Libraries used to be the best environments for me to satiate my hunger, satisfy my curiosity. I say “used to” with regret because libraries are disappearing fast from this country. The corner lending library is no more, the library near Chembur station – my favourite – which used to lend comics of Superman and Batman has been replaced by one selling pirated music. The books we see are all pirated, the sleeker ones are too prohibitively priced.

Therefore this article by Abby Wong came as a pleasant surprise. Titled Build and They Will Come, it gives new hope to Malaysians from the exemplary trend set in Australia. Excerpt:

“In well-loved libraries [in Australia], the smell of books, old and new, emanates seemingly from everywhere. This smell wafts in the air and fuses with the smell of coffee, producing an intoxicating aura that relaxes the mind. Classics come alive in this environment and look more irresistible than ever. My left hand grabs Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God and my right gobbles up Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. As I turn the corner, Terry Pratchett’s Nation winks seductively. Though I once publicly reproached Pratchett’s over-the-top imagination, my recent craving for fantasy has allowed a more unstinting exploration. Who knows, I may find joy this time. After all, I am given 21 days to come to a verdict.”

Hat tips Susan Abraham for the link to the article.

1 comment:

Susan Abraham said...

Thank you, John. Have a lovely week. :-)