A couple of months ago, Femina announced the launch of their Book Club (on Facebook) , where they called out to bloggers who were interested in reading and reviewing recently released titles. Since I am quite fond of the magazine, and participating meant getting new books to read, if your blog was selected, I reached out to them, and voila! In some time, I got a mail saying I was now a part of the Femina Book Club panel and I was one happy cookie! The very next day the book arrived – Ruskin Bond’s Love Among The Bookshelves.
Love Among The Bookshelves is Ruskin Bond’s memoir and my first book by the author. It traces his journey into the world of books through his childhood, teens, until his early 20s. Narrated in a simple, free-flowing language, these memories are interspersed with excerpts from the writings of the authors he talks about, beautifully blending with his perception of them. So you get to revisit the likes of PG Wodehouse, HE Bates, Somerset Maugham and Charles Dickens.
However, what sets this book apart is that fact that it forces you into the recesses of your own memories—of summer vacations and air coolers, of Roohafza and mangoes. And the books, which made up your childhood and went on to establish you as a reader.
I am not much of a non-fiction reader, but I could glide through this book effortlessly. My biggest takeaway from it was a reinforcement of the fact that one can never read ‘enough’ because there are numerous titles, authors and genres out there, waiting to be explored. The book very helpfully ends with a list of authors and their works, which Ruskin Bond deems his favourites. And it makes you want to make a list of your own, from the past, and especially for the future.
My list is ready, and Mr Bond is right at the top of it.