I used to be an avid reader. You could say oxygen came second to books. I inhaled books the way a shopaholic goes on a spree. As I grew older though, I got busy in other things, new things (photoshop, crochet, running a business, friends, cats, that sort of thing) and I went from an avid reader to someone with a strong penchant for books, but not enough time found to do the actual reading. I’d have a pile of books on a desk in the corner of the room, gathering dust. But the sight comforted me. I guess it was my way of anchoring myself to the world of the written word. Slightly in denial of having let go thus far, not willing to let go altogether; a way of staying connected with the wry hope that maybe I get the chance one day, the urge to pick up one of those unopened books, curl up in some corner of the house with a million soft pillows underneath, a plate of cookies and a drink of water nearby, and just lose myself in the magical sensation that only a reader can understand.
Another reason was because the stories, the books…they just weren’t what I wanted to read anymore. I didn’t want to read about a ditzy girl who does ‘awkward’ or ‘silly’ things, how she messes up her life but manages to get everything in the end, the house, the money, the guy, the career. Shopaholic comes to mind, and excuse me while I roll my eyes. Fifteen, I am not anymore. I wanted a book that would be real. That would be romantic, and funny, and serious, and real. But apparently, pandering to popular culture was what everything was about nowadays. More interest was lost.
The advent of ebooks did little to help, ironically. You’d think I’d be reading nonstop, what with the ease of having books available to you digitally. But the need to read books had ebbed and the digitization of it all didn’t promise the same sort of enchantment that a hard copy did. People wonder why I prefer books to movies – it is because when you read, when you immerse yourself into the story and the characters and the plot, you can see every tiny detail, every blink of an eye, hear every single sentence spoken, every word articulated in a tone and accent particular to different characters. It is so much better than watching a movie, so much more…gratifying.
I try now. It sad, but I actually have to try to read a book now. Force myself to start, to get into it. The first few pages are a struggle. But then, if I do manage to delve into its depths…oh, boy. The inexplicable joy.
Something happened a couple days ago. A friend recommended a book. She even sent me the ebook. I downloaded it, and it stayed in my Downloads folder for about a week. Then, I did the best thing that I’ve probably done in the three weeks of summer vacations I’ve done so far. Double clicked the icon, and settled in to read a bit, my laptop fully charged and functional.
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes.
And I thought Love Story was heartbreaking. The Fault In Our Stars has got nothing on this. Absolutely nothing. Not even a words worth of comparison can be made. Love Story? Maybe. Segal managed to have me crying in approximately 150 pages, so honorary mention for you. But Me Before You? Devastating. The force of a hurricane, the strength of the sea. So utterly, mind blowingly, heartbreakingly devastating. And the ironic bit is, you know what’s going to happen. You do, somewhere within the deep recesses of your mind, you know how its all going to play out. But, oh Lord, when it does.
Maybe I’m the percentage of over emotional readers, and maybe other people didn’t react so violently, but I did. I felt everything. That is what hurt the most, that is what reduced me to a pile of disgusting snot and salty tears. I clenched my jaw as hard as I could, I dug my nails deep into my skin until red angry marks appeared. I let out shrieks when I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Reading this was one of the most painful things I have had to endure in my life. And that’s saying a lot, considering Indus drives you into the ground.
This is an uncliched story of love and life and living. Its frightening and devastating to go through what either of the characters went through, and its terrifying to imagine myself in either of those situations. All I wanna do right now is go back and reread it, cry some more, and try to write this word doc with everything that this book made me feel. I simply could not put it down. I took around five hours to read it, and it was impossible to put it down. Its tragic, and romantic, and its beautiful in a way only some books can translate to be. It…It was simply brilliant. Mind blowingly brilliant. Most genius thing I have read in too long of a time. And now I’m babbling praise incoherently.
But that is what this books does to you.