Posted in Books

Thinking about books….

Medieval Indian Literature

A reading group posted about how unhappy they were about people who borrowed books and did not return them, or who returned them stained and tattered.

Perhaps I was like them once. Today, I don’t lend non-fiction for practical reasons. I need to refer to them when I write. But I lend fiction to anyone who requests a book, and if the book is not returned I forget about it.

I used to be an avid book-collector, and to some extent I still am, but that possessiveness of earlier days is gone.

When I went to teach in Rishi Valley, I took with me two suitcases–as so many things had to be packed for a stay that lasted several years, I could take only four or five books with me. The rest were stored in the house of a friend.

As time passed I realized I did not need those books. Those I liked were in my head, in my memories. Rishi Valley had a good enough library, so that I was never short of books to read. By the time I returned from there, half the stored books were lost. I did not mourn them, as their essence remained in me.

Today I once again have a large library as well as many on kindle, but my attitude to books has changed. Nothing is ever lost, even if I never see those books of the past.



A writer with ten published books and several articles, book reviews etc. I primarily write on history and religion, but also philosophical fiction.

2 thoughts on “Thinking about books….

  1. I used to keep all my books, but I ran out of space for them. Like you, I keep my reference books, and some favourite works of fiction I may want to reread (but fear I never will).

    I regularly give others away to charities who can resell them to make money for their work. I live very close to a good library, and so many books that are now out of copyright are available on the Internet I no longer feel the need to hang on to so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I too give some away to charities for resale–and then here there are termites, who also demolish some books! It is interesting how people feel about books and other possessions too. Perhaps as one grows older, everyone is more detached. There are a couple of libraries in the city, but not much good.


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