Ummm… how do I say this…. I thought I had a fairly large wardrobe; lots of Indian clothes for teaching, nice kurta-pyjamas for satsangs; dhotis for pujas and ashram, formal office wear for our corporate training programs, and of course lots of sportswear and casuals. But I suddenly realized that I own a far greater number of books than anything else.
I was just packing this morning, as we had a day off and we are moving house next week (close by, slightly bigger apartment); have already packed 4 large cartons and there are still books lying around the house! Feels good though, as a lot of them are extremely rare (I don’t lend them out!) though I sometimes wish I could lock myself in my study for a year or two and just read!!!
There was a time when I used to read about 200 pages a day (excluding schoolwork, magazines, newspapers) and 600 pages on weekends; that’s at least a novel a day. I did this for over twenty years since early childhood. Then after becoming a regular meditator I suddenly realized that I had all this data stored within me but which I was not applying anywhere; so the past several years have been more about assimilating and endeavouring to live the knowledge that had been collected and stored over such a long time!
It’s only in the past couple of years that I have gotten back to reading (though not at such a frenetic pace). Tina, too, has become an avid reader now (says she has a lifetime’s worth of catching up to do) and is rarely seen without a book or an ipod loaded with Guruji’s talks, especially on her sets. My books are like old, cherished friends; I love spending time with them, and wonder if future generations will have the luxury of sniffing through fresh, uncut printed pages, or curling up in bed with a novel which one rereads every year or two. Will it just be ebooks or audiobooks, or will the printed page survive for another decade or two?