All those Book Lovers 04/05/2012

There are categories and categories of  book lovers/  book readers   we come across. The first category comprises compulsive book buyers whose love for books is so much that  they  pick up a new arrival as soon as it comes to the market and   dig into it  straight away and complete it as soon as they can. They  also maintain  a library  that is stacked  with books they have read.   There is the second category of book lovers/ book readers  like me  who pick up a book  with an intention of reading it  but never manage to do so for what ever reason, with the result their library is filled with more of ‘unread’ books. The third category of book lovers don’t believe in buying a book they fancy but borrow from friends, read  and  return it in good condition, i.e. if  they are the  conscientious  kind(I feel this is the best thing to do).

There is yet another category who make a pretence of loving and reading  books ,more to impress people than for anything else. They can reel off titles of latest arrivals but  question them about their  genre  or content, they draw a blank.


n.meera raghavendra rao 


13 thoughts on “All those Book Lovers 04/05/2012

  1. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Nice categorization.
    In the third category, there is a sub-category who choose to return the book after 10 reminders but then the owner finds it dog-eared or they will say that one of their friends spotted it on their drawing room table and borrowed it and it wouldn’t be polite to demand immediate return. The fourth category is the largest. I have seen such people exhibit in their living room, books like Being & Nothingness, A brief history of time or The complete works of Vivekananda. Not even one page of these books would have been read by the possessors. They are meant to indicate scholarship, erudition and one-upmanship !

    1. There is yet another category of book lovers who wish to follow the rules of the book in bringing up their new born and find theory and practice don’t match at all!

  2. V Raghavan

    Our experience in the last category above has been different. We enjoyed reading Dr Benjamin Spock’s book titled Baby and Child Care – an all-time best seller. When things looked pretty frustrating with the baby, the reassurance from the doctor was welcome.

  3. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Coincidentally I and my wife used to read together the same book by Benjamin Spock and benefited a lot during the prenatal & postnatal days of our first child. However by the time of our second child we had become experts and we used to improvise our actions. This book is a bible, is culture free and though written by a foreigner, it has no substitutes even today in India. Following Spock is much better than a heuristic approach.

    1. Don’t you think it’s a pity there are no home brewn books to equal Spock’s even today ? Bringing up a child may be the same all over the world but I wonder why we Indians are over protective about our children!

  4. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Even the paediatricians in India recommend Dr Spock’s bible. The English-savvy population with nuclear families goes to the Mothers & Baby section in Big bookstores and what do they find. Spock, Spock & Spock. There are Child specialists in India who could well write on Baby & child care but no publisher would like to take the risk of printing it and suffering losses. For those in Joint families or those living in nuclear families but have their mothers visiting them from the third trimester of pregnancy to the first 6 months after delivery, there is no need for referring to any book, since mothers have enough experience to tackle all baby-care & mother-care problems.

    1. I am yet to find an answer to the last part of my observation about Indian children.Again I have noticed children (both genders) raised in the North exhibit more confidence than their counterparts in South.

  5. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Why we Indians are overprotective of our children?

    If by overprotective, you are referring to the inordinate & prolonged stay of the children in their parent’s home, often for as long as 25 years, until they acquire professional degrees, get a job, cross the probation period, and marry, you are spot on. This is ingrained in our culture, whereas in the west (specially USA), children often leave their parents after High School graduation. But then the advantage in India is that because of this prolonged parental nurturing, they in turn are not discarded & consigned to an old age home. Old parents are kept and taken care of by their children.

    Children raised in North are more confident than their southern counterparts.

    I do not know of any sociological studies to this effect. But using plain commonsense I would say that confident/assertive parents breed kids who also turn out to be confident, since kids tend to emulate their parents. North Indians are closer to the seat of power, Delhi, speak the National language and think that they are more Aryan than the southies. Perhaps this gives those parents more confidence in themselves and they breed confident youngsters. This is just a random thought, not a sociological study.

  6. V Raghavan

    Meera, what exactly do you mean by your comment: “I guess the author is a foreigner, admiration for them starts from the cradle!”? VNK has brought out many points with clarity. When a few-weeks old baby shrieks at the top of his/her voice, the first-time parents get all jittery. In those days, there were no proper phone connections even to call your doctor. Five minutes later, the baby is sound asleep. This is where Dr Spock (the most celebrated pediatrician of the world) comes into the picture to reassure the parents. Grand mothers have that knowledge by experience, but never put them down on paper as Dr Spock did.

  7. I think young first time mothers those days(including my mother who had her first child when she was in her teens) had abundance of common sense and confidence .I am surprised pediatricians these days advise against giving water to babies even when they are thirsty! My only grouse is why can’t an Indian doctor author a book on child care ?Surely we do have some well to do pediatricians in our country.

  8. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    @ Dr. VR,
    Meera, what exactly do you mean by your comment: “I guess the author is a foreigner, admiration for them starts from the cradle!”?

    This should not be misconstrued as a xenophobic reaction. It is the angst & despondency created in a patriotic Journalist who thinks that our local publishers do not encourage our own writers, forcing the readers to buy books by foreign authors. She is only playing the Devil’s advocate – a Journalist’s way of provoking further interaction.

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