Daily life

That took me long enough

1:30 PM

I am a big book worm, and that isn’t even a confession, I admitted that long time ago, publicly at least.
Back in the days in Switzerland I was a crazy regular at the city library, and still purchased many books on the side. Yup I was a book “nerd” as some would have put it. Normal teenage girls went shopping for clothes, met by the lake side to gossip and get a tan…and I spent a few hours almost every Saturdays to visit the city library, borrow a few, or sit in one of the comfy sofa to flip through heavy reference books, not that I was interested in academics, nope, I was a arts and crafts book junkie, star wars novel geek, mystery and thriller lover, and read girly teen novels as a guilty pleasure. Books books books, not a week passed without me buying one, and borrowing them on the side to satisfy my urge. But as a teen it was mostly a secret life, you can’t admit out loud you rather go to the bookstore than go hunting the most perfect fab earrings, and a self respected teen will only openly admit reading magazines and maybe the one two books recommended in them.
I was good at managing my secret identity, since I loved reading so much I threw magazines in the mix too, and I while I actually laughed and rolled my eyes at the “How to get a guy to fall to your feet” tips most teen magazines had, I wasn’t completely out of the loop either. Sure I wasn’t fashionable, but I was not fitting the “geek” or “nerd” label either, my clothes weren’t unfashionable albeit very casual, which worked perfectly well for me. Over the years I even had a classmate or two who shared my urge to read and as you grow up you don’t feel so odd being a book-a-holic and eventually come out of the closet.
My taste in reading haven’t changed much, I’m still a sucker for mysteries and thrillers, still love crafts books, added self help, new age, cooking to the list, and still love my little girly comedy on the side. A travelogue, or real life story might catch my fancy, but fiction is what I like reading best, oh and I still leaf through a few magazines here and there to keep in the loop if you where ever wondering.

Where does this blog post lead you might ask? Well just to the fact I just finally joined a library here in India. While it didn’t even take a week after my arrival to Bangalore in 2003 to locate all the bookshops in my neighbourhood and frequenting a second hand one 3-4 times a week, it took me quite longer to get to join a library. First I didn’t know where they were, because I grew way to used of how things worked on a small scale in Geneva and how the State library network was free to all resident, free membership, and no rental fees, only late fees for being really late at bringing back a book (the duration of the lease was 1 month with 2 weeks grace period if I remember well). How did libraries work in India I had no idea, and I didn’t know where to turn to know how to find one.
Then in Chennai my landlady asked if I wanted to tag along to a government subsidized one, and of course I did.
But I was DISAPPOINTED, the library was old dull, smelly and looked pretty much like the stereotype sad library that cold come complete with a bossy lady screaming “SILENCE PLEASE” should the need arise, not that I imagine it was needed, the bunch of visitors here were for the most part scholars, students and old people, the books were old, about 90% of them were purely science and academics and I never saw the point in joining, this was back in 2004. The trip to that library didn’t make me feel good about libraries, I had no idea private ones could even exist, because mind you I grew up in a place where the concept of paying a member fee was absurd, and I decided government libraries were not made for people like me and never ever visited such a place again.
Until yesterday I didn’t even look at private libraries, but then a friend recommended “Just Books” which has a big network of libraries in various cities and and each cities having various main “office” and satellites to make sure you are never too far from a good book to read, and apparently even have the option to order online from the main catalogue.
We visited the outlet near or place, the choice was decent, the place bright and casual enough…no super seriousness there, and if they don’t have a book in that particular branch they can order it from another branch for you. Unlike the Geneva city library, there is no monthly limit (I always hated the 10 books a month limit back there), you just subscribe for a plan that allow you to take out only a specific amount of books at a time, and you can keep them home as long as you want too, so let’s say you subscribe for a 2 books plan, and return them after one day you can take as many as 60 books out of the library a month for the plan’s monthly fee, in a word the more books you borrow the more advantageous the plan becomes.
While I’m yet to see the complete online catalogue, I liked what I saw there, and I also loved the fact they have baby books, Ishita loose interest in her books after a week or two, and like her mama, is a bookworm in the making as I’ve never seen her more exited than when left to roam the books in Landmark or in the library yesterday…just for her books subscribing was a great idea to begin with.
I have less time to indulge in my book craze having Ishita keeping me busy, the idea of a library that doesn’t put a limit of days on your lease suits me too, but I still like buying books as well, and these days what I lack in reading proper books I make up in reading blogs…I just MUST read!


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