Talking ♠ Books

india calcutta bookstore

How we approach books depends a lot of individuality.

I realized this of course due to eclectic tastes ▬ I am the sort who can read almost any kind of book; though  of course they must have some appeal.

I even read a Mills and Boon once. It was good writing ▬ as in no grammatical or syntax problems and had some fugurative language ▬ but it was not really good writing. The characters were one-dimensional ▬ the female was dumb and the male inhumanely selfish and the one who was not got the boot ▬ so, talk about your unfair, insane treatment.

While growing up I read a lot of Sweet Valley Twins and Friends ▬ some are still my favourite ▬ the favourite I am referring too was this series within a series in Sweet Valley Twins and Friends starting from I think issue #97 called “Too Scared to Sleep” culminating in the fourth book cryptically called “If I Die Before I Wake.” That four-part story was actually more supernatural or paranormal than any book in the entire series ▬ there was another one talking about one of the twins meeting her guardian angel and understanding the value she has on people but this four-part story will always stay with me. It was more gothic and horror based and pulled my young pre-teen/teen self into it. I had the entire four-part story (will probably look for it later and INSHALLAH find it) ▬ well, I bought the first three books and while reading them, or probably after finishing the third, I realized it had a fourth book which served as the finale. I remember telling my Mom I wanted to buy it and she drove me there to the bookstore and I got the book. I recall that book had a very cryptic (translation ▬cool) cover as well. It was also thicker than the other books in the series (one of those special editions of the series). It was totally black with a house in front and eyes peering out from the upper windows and written in gold or white below “If I Die Before I Wake” ▬ I would read that quadrilogy again. In fact comparatively, though not exclusively, that quadrilogy was very mature and dark as in dealing with a lot of elements that adolescents may find grim ▬ death, taking care of children and being responsible for them and of course secrecies in their own family. It was more mystery, gothic-horror based and not really a soap opera in nature.  In fact, I might read still Sweet Valley Twins and Friends books now as they were exceptionally well written and properly executed unlike the other branches of University and all those which did not interest me much (looking at their covers was appealing but it did not draw me in). To be honest, compared to a lot of books directed at young adults and adolescents nowadays these books were of good literary quality and assessment unlike weird romances and bad writing.

This leads to me talking books with seemingly one of the regular customers/entrepreneurs (I think she was partly an owner too; though I need to clarify this information: I clarified it today, her father-in-law owns the store) of one of the bookstores I frequent and love for their rare finds and collectibles.  Well, they had a recent stock of children’s books and so she was reminiscing with me about Enid Byton books. In fact, her confession on how she loved reading children’s books still made me realize I do too. I remember I liked reading Enid Byton’s collections. Good stories those were and made me want to read them again as I type this due to there richness in storytelling and ethics ▬ we may not be judgemental but morals are appealing. In fact many postmodernism-platforms do not totally exclude morals either, however, yes ▬ they do not show protagonists to be perfect.

Well, I think I was enchanted when she talked about Roald Dahl. I immediately asked her if they had Kiss, Kiss ▬ the cool story anthology. Well, unfortunately, they did not have that. The story of Kiss, Kiss ▬ the one that is personally my own and not the writer’s one of writing it ▬  is that it was part of my education; in fact it was featured in a O’Level Examination paper and I stumbled upon it while practising and studying for my O’levels in my tutor’s house. In actuality, as it was an anthology I was not directly exposed to Kiss, Kiss but one of its stories that was in the O’level paper ▬ that was the brilliant short story, “The Landlady” ▬ even today that story has the same appeal as it had on me then. I remember being engrossed by the story and many of the past papers do not have the quality of engrossing (though most are very interesting I don’t think, if I recall correctly but might be mistaken, that the modern past papers are not so interesting ▬ I am also kinda irked that they removed picture writing which I think is challenging and interesting): I was reading it and the last line gave me shivers. As I was young the teacher did not do the psychological details of that story but did explain in one line the brutality of the story; along the lines: “It was because she liked them.” That is seemingly such a simplistic explanation but it really eludes the immensity of the chaos of that short story. Then I was so excited I wanted to see where, as my teacher told, the anthology was that had this short story. My teacher got her copy of Kiss, Kiss out and I was marvelling at it. I remembered asking her why it was called Kiss, Kiss and she gave me an iconic answer: ” Because of the kiss of death.” and as I found out from Wikipedia yesterday; the book does stay true to that sentence.

Well, we talked about other books too like the Twilight series which to her were ok for the romance but poorly written. I did imply that the romance to me is idiotic and I felt it was a good thing the store got more books for children because I do not think they should be reading too much of Twilight ▬ they are far better off reading Enid Bytons, Goosebumps and obviously Roald Dahl, who captures both children and adults even with his children’s books.  I still think I do not mind re-reading an old Noddy because they were very well written too. I use to love reading about Noddy, the cute head jiggling character, when I was a kid.

Then she showed me her copy of The Lincoln Lawyer which had recently been made into a movie staring Mathew McConahey ▬ in fact her book cover had him on the front. She was telling me how she was reading all these books for ‘easy reading’  ▬ then we went to the next phase of our conversation ▬ what we defined as ‘easy reading’.

I knew what she meant but I spoke of Malcolm Gladwell as ‘easy reading’ as  I can also ‘easily’ read and understand what he is talking about ▬ she illustrated that most of his books make you think too much and that by ‘easy reading’ she meant the absence of reading too much into things or thinking too much upon it. Well, truthfully, I knew she meant that but also I said that because those books are easy to read as in complicated things written simplistically ▬ sometimes complex things can be written in more complex ways. Well, she continued how Mills and Boon are at times ‘easy reading’ ▬ I told her about my semi-repugnance of those kind of books. Well, she can understand it ▬ how can that dashing guy fall for the secretary? ▬ more or less of what she said and said it does not really make her think much so she at times like those kinds of books where you can ▬ after a cutting type exchange on the powers of logic as in how we feel ‘logic’ and that though logic is not completely shut down ▬ it is below the surface as in not interfering too much and one keeps reason on a low. The confession was that I told her I could not do that even with those kinds of books and analyse most things I do read thus prefer reading the texts that have analytical value. Well, she said that she understands as she was in that stage at my age. However, our opinions differ ▬ this is not really a stage ▬ it is more or less a quality I feel that is in. Sure, I like to unwind and see/read/hear less serious things but I analyze those at times as well ▬ comedy is in my system but I do prefer many a times reading analytical things.

I recommended her some things to read ▬ the shop also had The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and I told her how my Mom was so interested in the movie that was made based on the novel. I also told her her about Sebold’s tragedy, her getting raped when she was a University student ▬ which to me is one of the biggest tragedies anyone can face ▬ yet I think I also informed her on how Sebold got the trash arrested and gave the criminal the maximum penalty ▬ victory was hers Thanks To Allah Almighty.

Well, afterwards she had her coffee and left and I was thinking of which books to buy ▬ I did not know if I could buy all the ones I wanted so I un-booked many and booked some.

Note: Thanks to Allah Almighty ▬ ALLAHHUAKBAR, SUBHAHANALLAH, ALHAMDULILLAH, MASHALLAH ▬ I got all the books I wanted even the ones I had to un-book! Well, I got most of the children’s books that I wanted as “Matilda” and also “The Lovely Bones”! Ok, I started writing this post on May 24th ▬ as indicated by WP ▬ but due to a busy schedule and fatigue I finished today lol oh well ▬ I did finish MASHALLAH and on to the future!

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