I hope that you enjoy reading another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Gaelikaa.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

As I write this, my father is sitting on his rocking chair, completely lost in a book and since he is hard of hearing, nothing disturbs him from that passionate pastime. Reading and his daily dose of watching television for two to three hours every evening, is more or less his raison d’être.

My raison d’être differs slightly in that instead of the television, I have blogging and crossword puzzles, but both take lesser importance to my passion for books and reading in general. My three siblings too are huge readers as was our late mother. So, I can safely blame my genes for my spending a lot of money on books that would have otherwise gone into my son’s inheritance.

From childhood, my siblings and I were encouraged to read and in any case, the entertainment that is now available was not available then, and one had to read to keep oneself occupied. I also traveled a great deal in my working life, and books were my companions bought at airport and railway shops all over India and some parts of the UK and Europe. Since I retired from active service, I have become a compulsive book buyer and I am not complaining!

Apart from purchasing books, which is something that I started much later in life, I depended on many lending libraries but, of late, libraries are few and far between and it is difficult to keep going to them to borrow forcing me to buy the books that I wish to read.

My home is full of books. They are everywhere. Their alloted place at the library which is over flowing, on the side shelves in the bedrooms, on either side of the pillows I sleep on, next to my favourite chair, next to where I sit and solve crossword puzzles and also in the sideboard near the dining table. Here is the library from which I have removed some books to show that the books are shelved three deep with a kind of mezzanine arrangement at the back.

I however know where I can locate any book that I want without too much searching. Occasionally I need help from my son, whose friends keep disturbing the arrangements in the library.

At any given time I read three books simultaneously, unless I am totally engrossed in one. Sometimes, it does happen that one book will keep me fully engaged but it is rare.

I need to read each book at least twice. I rarely read fiction and the matters that interest me are usually heavy stuff and it takes at least two readings to understand them.

I seldom go to a bookshop to buy books. I mostly buy them online as I find this convenient and economical too. Reviews normally influence my purchases as well as some reference to a book in some other book that I happen to be reading. Lest I forget, I immediately go online to purchase such books. For instance, the latest book that I have ordered for is “The Art Of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar.. I heard Sheena Iyengar on Video from a TED talk. No sooner I finished listening to her, I went to my favourite online bookshop and ordered the book. I have just begun to read it.

As an interesting aside, I request my readers to learn something about Sheena Iyengar who is blind, and also listen to her talk, both for which I have provided links above. She is a fascinating personality who handles her disability with panache and one can’t help admire her.

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