Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hanging around in a bookstore..

I had a blissful weekend, and that still doesn't convey the extent of fun I had over the last two days. It's a nice feeling to live through the first few days after you have kind of settled down in a place. It is that time in which a city or a place reveals itself, with a sense of immediacy and you just flow with what it has to offer you.

Of the many things that I did, (amidst being busy visiting Barista and McDonalds), I dropped in at the Oxford Bookstore at Churchgate. The nearly 90 minutes that I spent there, I so completely enjoyed myself. It felt like ages, since I had visited a good bookstore, stayed around for a considerable amount of time and soaked in the scent of fresh, new books. I almost felt like opening my arms wide and hugging the whole bookshop!! (but i realised I was too thin for that!!:))

The last time, I remember having shopped good deal of books, was the month I quit my previous job and the ten months, in between I had felt so tied up, not having visited one bookstore and spent heart out..;)

What or why this great love for books? I can never define that in exact terms. It is the fascination for the written word, the sheer joy that the world of words has to offer.

Recently, one of my colleagues at office, asked me how I spent my free time. "Do you go to discotheques?" was the question. I answered very point blank, that I read books and I listened to lots and lots of music. A very cliched set of hobbies, some may think, but they make a world of difference to me.

Enough reason for me to have found the bookshop experience, amazingly refreshing that I also managed to secure a membership with the store. All set, the Bombay book reading chapter begins with "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown..:)

Oh by ways, how about some inputs? Are you a book lover too? What has been a book that you really, really enjoyed reading pretty recently? Do leave the title/the author's name/the category (fiction or non fiction etc..)!


Amrita said...

hi anu, already heard about your book hunting expeditions, i know many people consider it to be a very regular/cliche kind of hobby - reading. its quite weird why they react like that. to me as well, book reading is a very enlightening practice. Some of the books which engross me more are from authors like Grisham, O.henry, james joyce etc. I am not so much into non-fiction. bUt am recently reading freud's interpretation of dreams. quite an interesting book!

VM said...

Met ur sis at the bloggers meet yesterday. Told everyone that I was "her sister's classmate"

Kiruba.com heard it as "hersister's husband".

HA HA HA. But the thought is scary

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Amrita, I love O.Henry too!! Hey, I think you should try out non fiction, in the topics of your interest. I seem to be loving it! :)

Mr. VM!! There you are! Can't you ever say something nice on my blog?? Of late you have been getting cheaper and cheaper. Sheesh! how could Kiruba hear something like that? Btw, if you found the thought scary, well, I am horrified!! NOOOOOO WAY!!!!MOMMMMYYYYYY!! :))

S m i t h a said...

Da Vinci is good. Me recommend Three men in a boat, Catch 22, Andromeda strain, Love story, Midnight's children... but from varied categories im afraid. Happy reading :)
Have u tried talking abt a novel/book with someone who also liked it? its more fun than reading itself!

wookie said...

Previous read- "Freedom at Midnight" by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.Category-Non-Fiction.
Currently Reading-"The Hitchhikers guide to Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.category-Fiction.
I recommend both.

JaganLee said...

I enjoyed DaVinciCode. Its the best novel i had read in recent times.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Smitha, Thanks for the picks...Nice ones I should say..Hmm..lets see, I am presently reading Da Vinci Code..I have read the Andromeda strain and Love story too..liked them as well..I will try and get hold of the rest that you mentioned!!:)

Wookie..Thankie..:)..I shall add them to my list of "to read"s..

Jaganlee, so one more person to vouch for the success of the novel..It does seem interesting!!

Prabu Karthik said...

Da Vinci code has enough materiall to speculate,wonder, ponder and analyse.trend setter.

Here's my list
Fiction : Prey

My friend also strongly suggested State of Fear.

Non-fiction : Algebra of Infinite Justice
(since you are a journo now. i liked the way she had done her research on wars,dam projects, privatisation, globalisation not to mention her incomparable writing ability)

Non-fiction : Spouse
(Since you too are horrified at the thought of marriage:-))
The only Shobhaa dee i have read but no regrets.

Non-fiction Classics: Man's search for meaning

Some BITSian blogs are simply brilliant.

Sriram said...

cozying up with a book has always been a favourite thing for me...and i spent lot of time doing that...
presently reading: A short story collection by Mark Twain.

Well Da vinci...read it, and dont have a very high opinion about it...

Prabu Karthik said...

anu also check out "blink"



surya said...

here after a lontime..

I am reading this lovely cute book
"five point someone" by Chetan Bhagat. Nice read...recommend if you like teenage biographies. It is something similar to "Catcher in the Rye" with some Indian background.

My honest comment on DaVinci code is " it is just another hyped book". But good for a time pass. I paid 60 bucks for it and the book is worth it.

Art said...

I agree with Surya. "Five point someone" is really a nice book. No complicated stuff. Very simple yet very nice:)

Vani Viswanathan said...

idhu load agi varthukulla....whew! hey i'm breaking my head wid registration for sem 3 ya...like last time!
hmmm...i'd say catch Harry Potter 6! everyone i know's like waiting breathless for it! though i donno wen i'll get to read it :( ugh, damn the net!

biju said...


I know the feeling. It is (was) not just books for me. I used to read every inch of the newspaper, every magazine i saw, and every flyer that somebody put in my hands (ok, that's pushing it a bit too far :-))But sadly, I have lost touch with my love. I read but not voraciously.

Stephen King has been an all-time favourite for me. "The Dark Tower" series is one heck of an epic. Loved Pirsig's Zen and Lila too.

Yep, 5.someone was a great read.


Lone Warrior said...

You find the best books on the streets around VT. You might wanna check it out....trust me you are gonna thank me for this.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Prabhu Karthik, thanks so much for that elaborate list..:)..I did see 'spouse' and 'blink' at the book store..Thought it would be too much to spend, for the month..;)..Will check them out!:)

Sriram, looks like you didn't enjoy Da Vinci code too much??

Surya n Art, saw '5 point someone' as well..didn't realise there were so many nice books that I saw and didn't pick up..:)

Vani - Harry potter 6? you read it and tell me the story!;)

Biju, welcome here!! :) I remember seeing you on DD's blog, isn't it? Yeah, sometimes even I feel that I have lost in touch with my reading habit..But that is something I am trying to squeeze back into my schedule these days..

Lone Warrior, suggestion taken and I will check them out! and who knows, I will probably thank you soon! :)

Art said...

My friend just told me that "art of wars " is a good book. I have no clue of what it is about. Before i pick it up and read, just wanted to know if anybody has any idea about this:)

Twin-Gemini said...

This blog is certainly getting funnier with all the comments (read vm's...in the last post it was some anonymous guy)...whats happenning here? :-)

Da Vinci Code (This comes highly recommended from a Gemini - if you know the characteristics of a Gemini) is perhaps one of the best novel that I have read. I hear Angels and Demons is also good - havent read that yet.

You like Music? What kind? I hear almost all sorts of music - almost all hindi movie soundtracks, almost all tamil movie soundtracks, indi-pop/paki-pop albums (whichever I can get my hands on, being in the US, u cant get to hear all of them), and all of the popular english ones.

Sriram said...

Da Vinci code blows! (Ha! always wanted to say that!!) How about Fight Club? (NO, not the movie, but the original novel) tis kinda interesting and has a totally different flow to it. I just finished it and tis awesome.

saranyan said...

Ponniyin Selvan. an amazing novel, one of the best I have read. its defly a must read. and pls do read it in tamil, if you can :)

also try The Alchemist, if you like some philosophical stuff.

MrGonSings said...

Funny you talk about books... I'm currently reading The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, on its english version... I had it gathering dust on my bookshelves for almost five years, until I finally picked it up a couple of days ago and started reading it (I still have a lot of other books in my "postponed until I get enough time" list though)...
I do some free-lance contributions for one of Spain's top publishing companies and I had the chance to read Dan Brown's bestseller and write the books covers for it before it got published in Spain... I liked the book, but there are quite a few others that have already developed a similar plot.
Enjoy your reading!
Bookstores are like friends... It's always a pleasure to see them again!

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Art, you are talking of 'art' of wars..:)..Sorry, I have no idea how the book is, let's see if anyone out here, drops a comment..

Twin Gemini, don't ask me what's happening to my blog - I seriously have no clue!! :))

As far as music goes, our interests match fairly well. I simply love music,listen to all kinds of stuff - tamil - from MSV/Ramamurthy to Illayaraja to ARR..Hindi - I listen to more of old songs than the recent ones, don't really seem to like them much..That apart, I listen to lot of instrumental stuff - Yanni/Enigma and some English tracks..Last but not the least, Carnatic as well..:)..I carry this huge bag with my two-in-one and lots of cassettes, whenever I move to a new place..Can't live without them!! :)

Sriram, Hi! So, you recommend 'Fight club'. Done, added to the list. I shall check out when I make my next visit to a bookstore.:)

Saranyan, Wow!! Tamizh stuff..Oh yes, I can read tamizh (pretty well, I suppose, given that it was my second language at school, till a signficant point in time!) :)..
Alchemist, yup, have it at home, but haven't read it as yet! I have heard it is good.

Mrgonsings, Why do you find it funny when I talk about books?? :O
So you are reading The God of Small Things. I have read it. Think it is worth reading once..am really not sure whether i would want to go back and read it..

"(I still have a lot of other books in my "postponed until I get enough time" list though)... "
hahaha..:))..same here..now, I have some consolation!!

And I can only say I feel so glad that you think of bookstores the way i do..They are lovely, like good friends..:)

Sriram C S said...

First time here...a nice coincidence, me too being a book lover (I actually kiss them at times!! ;-)) I would recommend Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera if you are into dark reading, Tagore (Gitanjali) if you are looking at depth of thought, Hitchhiker's Guide if you are looking for humour and Theivathin Kural if you are looking at spirituality. I have e-books of all these, but nothing like hanging upside down in a sofa and reading a book while sipping coffee.

In the meantime, stop by my BLOG as well...

~phobiac~ said...

hey ...books !!...now ...what can I suggest...now that u r reading The DA V CODE.....try ' THE GEMINI CONTENDERS' by ROBERT LUDLUM....that a good one...u'll luv it...and by the way never even think bout going near ' The monk who sold his ferrari'.....by Robin sharma...a total wasto !!

Krish said...

Hi..first time to your blog..nice one you have here...so similar to ur sis..:-).. BTW, its really heartening to find a bibliophile in the wilderness....
I wud suggest you,
1. Governance- And the scelerosis that has set in- Arun Shourie...an excellent book(but drab towards the end) for anyone daring to know about the public sector.
2. Remaking India - One Country, One Destiny- Arun Maira - a true revelation sortta..
3. Ponniyin Sabhatham- awesome Kalki...
4. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho- classic in one word.
5.The Meme Machine - Susan Blackmore- science- If you want to know why we are the way we are..how language, religion, beliefs etc spread and sustain...
6.Am I A Hindu?/the Hinduism Primer- Ed Viswanathan- I wudnt recommed this book, if you dont know anything about Hinduism..if you know something, then it makes a hilarious read..(atleast it made such to me).
7.The Age of Paradox- Charles Handy- one of my all time favourites, this book was an eye-opener for me in many aspects...heavily recommended..but serious stuff..a real good read...

Twin-Gemini said...

About Hindi songs: I havent really acquired the taste for the old ones.
About the instrumental ones, yeah, those are pretty much the most soothing ones to listen to.
Caratic: Havent really delved into that yet, although have a great interest in it. Next time I go home, I should probably copy my dad's huge collection. Any suggestions on that?

If you like ARR, then have you heard his Bose - The Forgotte Hero in hindi - really good!

Me said...

my head suthings when i think abt books......i worked part time in book store and i counted some 4000+ books in 2 days..... thought of books scares me now..........

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Agnibarathi, Welcome here!! You actually kiss books??!! Hmm..interesting! Thanks for the collection that you have offered..Even, I would love to cosy up in a sofa and read books, but not sipping coffee - I hate coffee!!! And yes, I will stop by your BLOG soon..:)

Hi Phobiac, thanks for dropping by.."The monk who sold the ferrari", someone recommended that to me..but the way you sound about it, well, was it that bad?

Hi Krish, am glad you could visit my blog..a diverse list there from public sector to philosophy to science..!Thanks.:) The Age of Paradox sounds interesting!

Twin Gemini, suggestions on Carnatic music?? I think that would become a post..depends on what kind of compositions you like, I prefer listening to Bharathiyar's songs/devi krithis..I like Bombay Jayshri a lot!

Me - Poor you!! Books scare you or what?? A friend of mine and I were just discussing couple of days back on how it would be great to work in a bookstore - then you could get all the chance to sit and read sooo many books!! You seem to hold such a contrasting opinion!!

Sriram C S said...

@Twin-Gemini - I would suggest Dikshithar and Shyama saastri krithis sung by M.S. If you like the perfect technical version, try Semangudi...though it might not please the modern listener. Balamurali might be a nice choice too. Lalgudi Jayaraman, Veenai Balachander are nice choices on instrumental side. There is much more in the Carnatic ocean and I'm but a shell collector on the shores...

Mrutyunjaya said...

@Anu - Awaiting you at my BLOG as a graceful host...

Vani Viswanathan said...

i hate this internship man! i've picked up cosmos and have been trying to read it for quite a while...sadly unsuccessful! :(

DD said...

Hey Anu... Catching up with you finally! The first ever novel I read to the finish was Da Vinci Code.. I should say the art and puzzles part of it kept me going. Well, the recent book I read was 'The Monk.. Ferrari'. I liked the juice of it :-) Reading is my new interest... in infant stages still! ;-)

Twin-Gemini said...

Anu V. and Agnibharathi,
Thanks for the suggestions! Will try some of them very soon.

Eroteme said...

What's with Da Vinci? Its nice, but not that nice...

Anyway, you kinda know what I will recommend, but here is to surprise you:

Early Stories: John Updike

Mistress of spices: Chitra Divakaruni

Razor's Edge: Maugham

Remains of the Day: Ishiguro

Lord of the Flies: Golding (Check out the number of reviewers on Amazon.com)

Narcissus and Goldmund: Hesse

Siddartha: Hesse

1984: Orwell (Check out the number of reviewers)

and many more... hang on and I'll share more of the with you... ;-)

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

Hi this is Vani's friend! I'm not a voracious reader as I don't get books often. but if I do, none can sop me from becoming one... :)
Well I would suggest the Anne books by L.M.Montgomery- heartfelt and adorable.
Also She called me Dad by Joe Tosini. Beautiful...
Then, John Grisham is good, The Moonstone by William Wilkie Collins rocks. Also, The Little Princess. Then Uncle Tom's Cabin. And lots more...

S m i t h a said...

you are still hanging around the bookstore??
post something please :D im bored ...danks

Chakra Sampath said...

just finished Angels & Demons - sort of prequel to DaVinci Code. If you get a chance, read A&D before reading DaVinci Code.

I wd also vouch for Ponniyin Selvan.. If you are into poetry stuff, try Kallikaatu Idhigaasam by Vairamuthu.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Mrutyunjaya, what is this? A practical joke?

Vani, your queries answered thro' the phone call!! :))

DD, Hi!! I realised your new interest when we landed at Landmark! Reading is fun, truly! don't let it go! :)

Twin Gemini, You are welcome. You need to thank Agnibharathi more - a splendid set of suggestions there! :)

Eroteme, what do I say? You always go an extra mile and do things, don't you? :) Thank you so much! Oh btw, this is a nice coincidence..I just got the "Remains of the day" as a memorable gift from a friend of mine.

Hi Sandhya, I know I know who you are!! I won't make a mistake again after I asked you over that sms as to who you are! :) I am glad you dropped by and thanks a zillion for your picks! :)

Smitha, actually speaking yes!! I went to "Crossword" last Saturday! (Oh boy! It is already time for the next weekend!). I will post something soon. You actually make me feel so irresponsible with my blog!! ;). Please hold on..I am really caught up with work! :)

Chakra, thanks there! I am almost getting the feeling that Da Vinci code is 'ok'.

Guys, know what? The biggest irony of it all is that this post, the enthu with which I began, I have found it so difficult to pick up the books that I got and read them..Somebody, give me some time!!!

Eroteme said...

You are welcome. An extra mile for you anyday! ;-) As long as it is not in the sun!!!

You don't need time. You need the 3 Cs for book-buying:
(and surprisingly they grow shorter in length and availability too!! ;-)

Who was that genius who bought you that book? :-)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Eroteme, oh! So, you can't go out in the sun?? I would urge you to think about it before you make any further statements!! ;)

Of course yes I need the time. I need the time to sit and read all that I got!

Btw, who's company is growing shorter in length(??) and availability?

The genius?? How can someone be a genius just because of buying that book??

nagilan said...

hai.. iam a bit late answring your question..

but i just read

to kill a mockingbird by harper lee.. a classic .. i just loved the character scott finch

iam reading catch22 by joseph heller

all time favourites - ponniyin selvan, english august, god of small things...

yes i too share your love for books and good bookstores :)

Karthik Subramani said...

I read a book called "The betrayal and other stories " by an Indian author ... her name was shiva shankari . I really liked it because I ve read very few books by Indian authors and because the stories were so straightforward and easy to relate to . I think you would really like that book , coz the same simplicity of thought flow is there in them .

Archana said...

Hi Friends ,

Am Archana writing to you all .
I tracked your Comments and replies when I was in search of few topics in theivathin Kural.
thats wat led me to write to you all.
I am interested to get into your readers club , can some one tell me how ?
Bye all and hv a great weekend

Sujatha said...

One of the best books, I have ever read in my life is Am I A Hindu? by ed Viswanathan. Things I like about the book is, it is very simple and respect all religions. Like "krish" I have to write this book is very hilarious read.

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