Sunday, 7 October 2012

Books Feed the Soul

I missed the smell and the feel of fresh pulp when I flipped the pages, but as much I have been reluctant to, I have plunged into the world of digital books faster than I'd like to admit.

Yesterday was the second day since I started reading the Hunger Games series. Driven by a strange desire to finish the captivating lines, I cared for nothing else in the world, ignoring all the messages that flooded my inbox and my own sense of being throughout the day. I had all but a bag of chips and three glasses of iced water that filled my tummy. Oh wait, I was momentarily drawn away from the ebook by a later than scheduled delivery which saw my HTC phone returning to my care, or rather, lack thereof since it needed not to go to the repair center if I had cared for it properly. But I digress. Grudgingly, I laid the phone beside my pillow at about two in the morning when my eyes diminished into a small slit and threatened to never open if I didn't rest them. I woke up this morning, reached out across the bed, and with a few buttons, the words make their agonising slow appearance on the screen and I continued to abuse of my eyes to the delight of my mind.

At close to noon, I came to the end of the series. The series, Hunger Games, in three days. Previously, the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, in five days.

Yes, that's how fast I consume my books. Reading feeds my mind and soul. It really does. When I pored over the books, I am transported into a virtual world, where my imagination runs wild, in a good way, and comes to life. The words jump out of the pages and form images so vivid that sometimes, after reading a spine-chilling passage in a book, I have to leave my night light on*. Silly, I know. When I felt that the visual images were projected incorrectly, I reread the paragraphs to get new sense of what they should be. I feel the emotions (the fear, the elation, the pain), the struggles (the pain, the fear, the elation) and the triumphs of the characters (the elation, the pain, the fear) washing over me as I absorbed each and every word. Sometimes, the death of loved ones in the pages brings about memories of mum and I wonder wherever she is now. I learnt occasional new words and the one word that is forever ingrained into my memory is "moot". I see things, some things, differently.

The connection didn't hit me till I sat down to reflect upon the two series - I was reading both series to keep my mind occupied after huge fights with the bf (who now seemed destined to be ex-bf in no time, given our increasingly frequent arguments :( ). The attraction between the two main leads is undeniable, even if it's just words. That's the kind of love where the other will give up everything, including his or her life, if need be. It wasn't about what one wants or needs, it's about how one makes the other feels. Safe, excited secure, jealous, happy, suspicious? The person I'm with should make me feel like there is no other woman for him in the world and will give up everything for me (not that I’d ask for that but still, it’s always nice to know someone would). It all boils down to that – the connection I was referring to.

I know the twist in writing about reading turned into writing about relationships was unexpected. The intention to mislead wasn't premeditated. I did say I see some things differently now.

* There was even once when I stopped reading in the night because I was scaring myself to death with an imagined but seemed too real scene out of His Dark Materials.

PS: Speaking of imagination, I'd imagined Dobby was more Yoda-like in terms of appearances and not the scrawny little imp he has been brought to screen. That's why I'd never forgive Hollywood for butchering book-turned-movie franchise.

PPS: I have a habit of writing the date I finished a book on the last page. I just realised I can't do that anymore with ebooks. Damn!

PPPS: Has anyone else realised that both series ended with both couples having two children? Is it a coincidence or is the number two a lucky one in the literary world?

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