29 August 2010

The Bookshelf Dilemma

Two Years AgoMy bookshelves are sort 0f overflowing and I am buying more and more books as time goes by. I don’t know how I would manage to move all of them while relocating to another city or even a country.  (The picture shows a part of my collection two years ago … lazy to click a present one)

That is where an ebook reader (eReader) comes into picture. Shall I go for one? or not?

  • Don’t I love the “physical feeling” of a book? The smell of it?
  • Don’t I love the sight of the books in the shelf?
  • Don’t I love to tell my guests to “pick that ‘green’ book from the third row from top of the shelf on right side” and then tell them to read something from it. (You know? -- just to spice up conversations and such!)
  • Am I not simply proud of my collection?

An eReader would kill all this fun. So shall I not get one? But then I’ll be missing the technology train. (Which I never missed with netbooks, smart-phones, iPod, iPhone, etc.)

All the bullets above add up to less than 10 percentage of what I love about books. What I want really is the content. So, wouldn’t it be great if I can carry around my collection in a little handheld device? (claiming to give the perfect-reading-feel)

I don’t know. I was (am) quite confused about it. What if I don’t like it after the investment? Wouldn’t it be a waste? What if I do like? Won’t I move away from the good-old-smelly-books?

I spoke with a fellow-reader (RG) and she recommends to take the plunge. I have nothing to lose. And if I don’t like the device, I can give it to someone. Yes, sounds reasonable enough. Still… but… Hmm…

So, take the plunge? or not?

Signing off, Sands.

PS: The title of this post is shamelessly taken from this post @ Within/Without, which provoked my eReader thoughts.

17 August 2010

Sweet and bitter somethings

6a00d8341c66b253ef013484b83ccd970c-800wiThis month had been so far a book-month. I finished the whole twilight series in the beginning, then I finished “Superfreakonomics” – which is a nice, slightly thought provoking book.

And yesterday, I went to the bookshop (well, not that I don’t have enough unread books in my collection). I went to buy “The last lecture” for a friend (Nth copy of that book I was buying). And I bought a book for me as well (you know Tyler Cowen of MarginalRevolution? – his Infovore book)

While in the train back home, I sat opposite to a lady who was reading. I took the new book, opened it and inhaled directly from the pages… it felt so good - the pleasant smell of the new book. I looked up to see that she was looking at me and smiling. I smiled back, and knew that we had the ‘reader-to-reader’ rapport between us.

If only she were in my age-league, I could have had a bit of flirting flow! :P (I soooo wanted to know which book she was reading – try “Judging a girl by her cover”,  slate magazine)

17082010558Today, in the morning, I was standing near the letter-boxes. The post woman was delivering letters/cards, and I thought I’d like to have that card she had in her hand. And guess what? She put it in my letter box! Smile Smile

The moment she moved,  I took it and was just very happy!  And as the sender asked me to, I did feel very much bear-hugged!

Now, the bitter things: Why do people put their close ones through guilt trips to make them do things against their own wishes? It is being used by so many people, and comes in different flavours – that disgusts me.

Why don’t people follow the minimum manners of removing the hear/ear-phones while speaking to someone? Why can’t you simply remove your tainted-glasses while talking to someone. Don’t you think, looking into the eyes is an important part of any conversation?

Why do people simply go ahead and use someone else’s computer, without asking? Don’t they know it is called “personal computer” and the meaning of “personal”? (Applicable to books and other things too)

And finally, why am I being so touchy? ;)

Signing off, Sands.

5 August 2010

Light weight post..

I was with muggle-girl, in the train, when she remarked about our co-passengers – “Why do they all look like they’ve lost something?”. I looked around, and it was so true. Except a lady with her kid (and us too), EVERYONE in the train was so gloomy. Why oh why?

It was just 10 in the morning.. not that they are all tired after a long day’s work (not that any excuse can be entertained). I wanted to get up and shout – cheer up people, cheer up!.

(On a different note: have I mentioned that Beatles songs are great? Yes they are - listening to them now. I’m happy just to dance with you..)

Have you sometimes, while flipping through a book/newspaper, felt that you saw a word in a page, even when you didn’t [have time to] read?

Then you have to go back and hunt the whole page for that word, and will be surprised to see that the word really did exist in the page?

I had a similar moment in the morning. I thought I saw some Indian word in the ad, which I saw for only a split of a second on the info-screen. I had to wait till the ad was shown again.

And there it was – Shiva. What are “Cosmos” and “Shiva” doing in an ice-cream ad? I looked it up and figured that the words represent the Indian meanings and it’s the model’s name.

Remark: I happened to look at these words, instead of her cleavage????. Am I that boring?? Sad smile (Well, she’ll be disappointed ;) )

Then, I walked straight to my “chocolate-drink” kiosk. I did my usual trick for impressing the cashier-girl, which is spinning the coins on the table – not many cashier girls were ever impressed though. Today it was a cashier-boy and he was royally impressed. I took my drink and walked away quick! Smile with tongue out

Well, readers, the last few posts were a bit heavy for my blog. Hence the light weight post today.

And, I am gradually getting back to normality – hyper-activity and such.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: That (beautiful) lady was showing off her iPad and I was properly ogling both.

3 August 2010

Indian Supremacy Theory..

Recently, I had a conversation with Eva Maria – a German lady who is staying in Kerala and collecting data for her doctoral thesis – “Resistance of regional-medical-systems against globalisation/allopathic medicine – in the light of naturopathy in Kerala”. I took a while to grasp what she’s doing and the scope of this post doesn’t cover that. :)

She told me, when she visits some villages in Kerala, they tell her – “Kerala is the best place on the planet [to live]”. On asking back which all places they know to have such an opinion, they say, they haven’t ever been away from their cute lovely villages. So much for “informed opinion”.

I wonder, how many proud mallus know that the Kerala-tagline “God’s Own Country” itself is not original. [LINK]

And you know what? Indians tend to make this “we are the best” comments about almost everything [Facebook-Group].

To make it worse, we cannot even accept a bit of criticism. Once, in a group, I was telling [non-Indians] about some flaws and faults of Indian system, when this friend from Bihar told me [shouted] (in Hindi) to stop telling about the bad-things back there.

No society is going to grow if they cannot accept their own flaws and discuss with others to see their blind spots. india-map123

WE ARE FLAWLESS attitude spans from culture to technology. Indian culture is the best EVER. Home grown technology beats everything else (Remember Ramar-Pillai?).

A word about Indian culture – the colours, variety of food, festivals etc. are some of the best of it.

At the same time, don’t tell that a system where women are second class citizens is good. I simply won’t be able to understand the “goodness” of a dowry-based-arranged-marriage-family-system. Let’s not even talk about the caste-based classification of people.

I am not exactly patriotic; It’s your choice to be or not. But don’t let patriotism blind you. Please don’t.

And my dear Indian readers, if you still think we are the best, see where India stands in these global ranking systems: Satisfaction with Life Index (India:125), Quality-of-life index (India: 73), etc. We are not exactly at the top of these lists, are we?

So, there must be something which we are not doing right. (And others doing it right?)

There are many great things about every place/system. It is the same with India too – lot of great people, things, places, traditions, etc. But please try to have informed opinions; and be open to criticism.

And wouldn’t it be the best if we know what our faults are and get the best from wherever we can? Life will be happier, world will be a better place to live.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Also, don’t think that this “attitude” is completely Indian, for I have seen people who say their system is the only good system around (have you spoken with newly-imported-Chinese students?).

PPS: People who are proud of the age-old beliefs/traditions/customs would shamelessly say that the hard, non-bendable, non-criticisable rules in Qur’an were written for 6-7th century A.D, and are not applicable now. (But that argument doesn’t apply to own faults, right?). Having majority support, or having been functional for ages shouldn’t support any system. Let changes happen, for good.