When I was growing up in Chennai, my Mom took me (very often) to Lending Library’s. I remember her first favorite haunt – a ‘Balaji’ lending library that had a small collection, then a ‘Ramona’ that had a slightly bigger collection and finally ‘Easwari’ that had the biggest collection. The haunts changed but the habit remained – I continued to tag along.
Growing up with these libraries made a huge difference to my life as a kid – I felt at home with the English countryside thanks to a certain Enid Blyton and always felt driven to be adventurous and daring thanks to the adventures of the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and the Five Find-outers among others.
And I think, of all the sources of inspiration, the full ‘unread’ book shelves were a big one! I loved finishing up a shelf and classifying it as ‘read’.
Over time, I lost touch with libraries and bookshelves. I realized I was at home reading novels but couldn’t get through books of a more serious nature (history, biographies, self help, management etc) that required more attention to detail. So, I stopped reading.. until a wiser friend introduced me to the world of audio books. And to get me started, he gave me about 50 to get through.
And boy, was I inspired.
In the age of ‘virtual’, I decided to create a virtual ‘read’ bookshelf of my own. And that inspires me to no end as well. Every time I hear about or read a book, I can’t wait to add it on to my bookshelf, and every time I do, I can feel the endorphin surge.
Bookshelves have a lot of magic. They inspire more creativity, joy, thoughts and ideas than they are given credit for, really.
I hope you take time to build your own bookshelf – virtual, or real.
Bookshelves, over time, have changed my life.
Who knows, they might just change yours too..