How can someone not love something that Ruskin Bond has written? I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. Though, this was a genre that I had never tried before – a book about books and reading. Love among the bookshelves is part memoir and part anthology by our very own Ruskin Bond. An author whose works have been read by millions of readers, when he talks about how he got into reading and his favourite books and stories of all times, it has got to be interesting. I finished reading this book is a couple of hours and was amazed to learn how he fell in love with books.
Quoting some lines from the book itself, “It wasn’t a bookshop, or a library, or a great-aunt’s hoard of romantic novels that made me a reader; it was the week I spent in a forest rest house, in what is now the Rajaji sanctuary, between Haridwar and Dehradun”.
The book begins with this paragraph and it had be gripped as a reader. Ruskin tells about how he discovered books first and then various authors. It was P.G Wodehouse’s ‘Love Among The Chickens’ that he first read at the rest house and then he discovered Agatha Christie, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and others. His discovery of all these authors and books made the memoir part of the this book and in between, there were short stories or rather excerpts were embedded that made ‘Love among the bookshelves’ a part anthology.
Bond talks about his holidays when he devoted much of his time in reading classics and comics to his school days, where everything was time-bound but he still found some time to read and then he went to New Jersey where his love for the books grew and how followed by an excerpt from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Ruskin Bond had discovered David Copperfield when he was twelve. For him, Charles Dickens was, and always will be, the greatest novelist in English language.
And then he spent two lonely years in London. This was the time when he found himself a publisher and at one point of time in London, he was reading one book a day. He reminisces his days in London and said that he had never felt so lonely before. This is is followed by an excerpt from Richard Jefferies’ The Story Of My Heart. One of his Ruskin’s all time favourites, he has read Jefferies’ ‘The Story Of My Heart’ several times.
Reading this book was an experience in itself. Reading about the journey of one of the finest authors that India has and how he discovered and fell in love with books was heart warming to say the least. After reading this one, I am definitely going to explore more books of the same genre. And all those, who love reading or love Ruskin Bond, must read ‘Love among the bookshelves’. It will take you in a different world altogether, the world you will envy, the world you would want to spend rest of your life in.
Book Source : Flipkart
Publisher : Penguin Viking
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price: Rs. 299/-