Saturday, April 20, 2013

Old is gold

So one of the inadvertent benefits of gifting myself a 7” tablet last year (seeing as nobody else was gifting me like anything but that’s another sob story for another time) was the emergence of me reading literary classics. Well I’m only 5 books down in 7 months and that definitely isn’t a whole lot but it’s a strong start and hopefully is a harbinger (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a post) of things to come. It all started off with a couple of the ever popular Sherlock Holmes stories which I fondly remember reading almost 15 years ago. What a difference your age makes when you read a book!

Now I’ve seen countless interpretations of Count Dracula make their way into movies, music, comics and pop culture but I had never really sat down and read the original. Thankfully I read it now and not a decade and a half back! I’ll be honest, the book on several occasions sent shivers up my spine and it probably is the first time that it’s happening to me while reading a book. When you are curled up at 1 AM and reading a genuinely scary (e)book, you know that you’re not going to be falling asleep easily. Gulp! Blame my limited productivity in office (what productivity I hear my boss asking…) on Bram Stoker’s masterpiece that needs to be read. Just make sure you don’t jump out of your chair if someone knocks on the door while you’re alone and reading it.

I had read an abridged version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when I was pretty young (yes yes, I was a child prodigy when it came to reading) and I loved it then. Underwater exploration and virtual prisoners with nowhere to go made it an story to remember so I was looking forward to reading it again. I quickly realized that the attention to detail was mind blowing in the non-abridged version but after a point all the scientific explanations did get ponderous. What remained the same was the sense of adventure that is prevalent throughout the book and the fact that this was written way back in 1870 makes it more impressive.

All these were just the appetizers to my most recent read – Pride & Prejudice. Before I go any further, I need to mention a couple of things. One, Pride & Prejudice really is a classic (you’re probably going Yeah tell me something I don’t know). And two, it is not a ‘girly book’! I’m still recovering from the shock of being told that it is a well-established fact that it is a ‘girly book’. Ok let me not go on lest I be branded a MCP! The underlying themes and the characters and their development are handled masterfully. Seriously even in this day and age, who doesn’t know a charming Charles Bingley or a pompous William Collins or a strong, independent and captivating Elizabeth Bennet? The Fitzwilliam Darcy’s of this world seem to be a dying breed though. Nowadays the first impression is the only impression as people just don’t seem to have time to overcome their misconceptions but I’m just rambling here. Pick it up the next time you find the book, its definitely way better than the modern stuff that proudly masquerades as literature.

So old is gold or is it? With gold prices sinking faster than my mood on a Monday morning, everyone including my neighbours seems to be on a gold buying spree. Except me. Which reminds me that I really need a pay hike. To be able to afford to continue gifting myself stuff. Who knows what inadvertent benefits they would bring? 


Anonymous said...

I have not read any of these :| The only classic I have read would be "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte..Though I have in queue Gone with the Wind and The Fountainhead...
But currently I m yet to finish Kane and Abel and the stranger's child :|

I have been lagging in my reading since past few months...Instead of finishing 3 books a month...its 1 book in 3 months :|

I do want to read tht Indian author book...The Immortals of Meluha as well...So mch to read! Sigh! Life's too short...ain't it?

P.S.: Everything I do...


Neil said...

Just looking at the Gone With The Wind book makes me shudder, it is huge! I too had reached the 1 book in 3 months stage of life & I wasnt happy about it. The ebook thing is really convenient even though Im an old school guy who loves flipping through the pages of a faded yellowing book.

My experience with Indian authors has been memorable for all the wrong reasons. Long story.

Is life really too short? Or is the time that we make to do the things that make us happy insufficient?