Let me be honest with you. I like reading, but more than that I like planning. I buy books because they have got good reviews, because they were featured in the 100-must-read-books-before-you-die list, because the cover caught my eye while browsing a second hand bookstore, because my friends couldn’t stop talking about the book. Many reasons – same fate. They all get neatly stacked into my ‘new’ bookshelf. It makes for a beautiful sight – all Murakamis and Alexander M Smiths on one shelf. The orange penguins lined up next to each other. Some maroon leather bound classics finding space among them, leaving you heady with their smell. When I read, I often glance at my books and make a mental note of what I should pick up next. Sadly, more often than not, I do not stick to that plan.
I borrowed Beloved – by Toni Morrison from the library this week, along with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and Wildwoo by Meloy Ellis. I am on page 21 of the first and haven’t even opened the others. But it is raining outside, the earth smells of that particular concoction when it gets wet, there is a cup of tea always at hand. And I cannot keep myself from going to the bookshelf and looking at Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. I read that book around 2.5 years ago. But bits of it is still stuck in my memory. I remember reading it timidly, not knowing exactly how to react. But by the end when the pace had picked up and left me drunk, I didn’t know what to believe around me. I am not sure if any of his other books will leave me breathless like that, but that is exactly what I am in the mood for (no offence to the brilliant writing of Morrison here).
Meanwhile, I met a friend who spoke very highly of 40 Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak. In an earlier post I had spoken about how I adore Shafak’s style of writing, the poetry in each of her lines, the ease with which she explains and yet makes it a work of art. And combined with Rumi’s poetry (which I have only heard from time to time when friends shared it on their pleasant moods), I am sure it would be quite a read too.
Do you think it makes sense then to leave a book midway and pick up something that seems to be almost calling out to me? (Also, if you have read an of Murakami’s other books or Shafak’s 40 Rules… let me know if I should make the jump! )