My Books

My books don’t speak to me any longer

They stare sullenly from the bed stand

Their haughty gaze follows me from the bookshelf

They sulkily excuse themselves
If I try to reach out.

They sit there pristine in their jackets

Waiting to be dog-eared and for those jottings in margins

Paperbacks, my beloved, are the angriest of the lot

I had not noticed their strange behaviour

But yesterday, when I picked up a paperback,

I had bought some time ago

The feel of it in my hands was so unfamiliar

It seemed to shrink away from me

That I had to put it down.

Heartbroken, that it refused to speak to me

I wondered how things had come to such a pass!

I have been thinking ever since and

I guess they have been feeling neglected

Ever since my affair with the digital media started

I spend more time on the phone/tab/pc/laptop

Looking for short reads

Instant news, instant gratification, instant feedback

The sacred ritual I shared

With the books was abandoned.

But I can’t let my first love wither away

So I dusted all the books lovingly

Neatly rearranged them

Picked up the one which had rebuffed me

Made myself a cup of tea

Drew the curtains, put on the lamp

And curled with it in a corner on my favourite chair.

I am rekindling an old romance

Please do not mind if I don’t respond when you come knocking.

65 thoughts on “My Books

      1. Ever been caught in the rye?
        Felt the wrath of grapes?
        Been mocked by a bird 🐦?
        Been tolled by the bell?
        If you dare to go there,
        that Library of Judgement,
        where bookworms lament
        … readers beware!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yes, yes, yes! To all the above and came out pretty unscathed,
        Though something changed inside forever
        And changed the way I behaved.

        Thank you David, for engaging thus
        I am no match to your poetic genius.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh Punam! This is brilliant. And oh how I avree with you about books. Sadly I cannot read books any more, and am forced to rely on my IPad and various Apps to enable me to read. It makes me sad, but at least I can still read a bit, that way. Enjoy your books Ounam. I still ha e huge boonshelves full of them. They are dusty now lol. You paint such a beautiful picture. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe I could just dust my books lol. I am sure I would gain great pleasure from feeling them in my hands lol. Shall I come and help you dust yours too? Lol. Over a good cuppa!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautifully and lovingly written. This spoke directly to me, Before I started writing online, I read upwards to 150 books a year. Sadly, I have read only five in the past three years. I love your personification of these books that sat dusty on your shelf. Thank you for the reminder that it is necessary to turn-off the digital world sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Absolutely fantastic! I should take a picture of my bookshelves, so many paperbound and hardbacked lovers awaiting my touch to peal them open and discover their heart inside of me. Beautiful poem that reads like how I might think the great romantic poets might respond to our modern way of living that seems so out of touch of the real living we are missing with tweets and bite size bits of spam filling our mouths. Basically… LOVE IT!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Stephen. It is in some way reassuring to know I am not the only one who turned her back to books in physical form. Let’s just hope that the digital media which brought us all together, does not become a bane. We have to strike a balance. Your comparison makes me feel humbled.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a tough balance, and even powerful connections like this often feel disconnected from reality at times. However, these are good and real people who encourage and read and listen. Balance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right Stephen, it is a tough balance and the connections here sometimes feel hollow because (I am sticking my neck out here) we are always too nice, always on our best behaviour. That said, so many genuine and honest connections have been made. There are mostly very good, encouraging people here and probably we will have to help each other to strike that balance.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with the poem’s core insight that — for some reason or another — our “affair” with digital media has translated into problems reading print.

    It has also, I believe, translated into an aversion to long paragraphs and long articles. At least online, on the screens, few of us nowadays are willing to read longer articles and even long paragraphs.

    I voluntarily cut my paragraphs down to size these days — but I won’t budge on article length. If I feel I need 5000 words to say something, I take them.

    Lucky me, I blog because I love writing, more than to be heard.

    Thank you for sharing the poem. It was not only interesting, but well crafted, I thought. The image of a spurned partner offended by an affair — that was an excellent choice! Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on all counts. As I say, we want everything instantly. Thus our ‘affair’ with digital media, aversion to reading anything long, blogging not because of our love for writing but to acquire a following.
      Thank you so much for reading and your generous comment. Made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww, what a great piece. πŸ’™ I’m always afraid, if I stopped reading bad things might happen, so I don’t even risk it, always carrying around at least one book.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah! Let me gently burst the bubble, I did get on the Discworld but soon found I was not cut out for its travels. But that in no way takes away the brilliance of the concept!
        Sorry to disappoint you 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bubbles were never made to keep us company, but glad you can relate to the concept. Yes, Sir Terry had a brilliant mind. He gave us so much to think about.

        You have not disapointing me, because indeed you have traveled it. Not all journeys have to be lengthy. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Absolutely! No denying the fact that he had a brilliant mind and was a writer par excellence.
        And thank you for understanding that we all do try to make as many journeys as possible. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

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