Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reflections on the closure of Premier bookshop

I came to know that Premier book shop has closed in Bangalore through this article in THE HINDU magazine by Ramachandra Guha. Having written about the shop earlier and having been there many a time after learning about it, I feel that it’s a loss for all book lovers in Bangalore.

The clutter and the disorder evident at the outset, as one entered that shop and the sheer variety of books within that space will always stay with me. Like an addiction one gets used to, I have felt that time and space lose all meaning inside a good bookshop.

Book lovers are a breed fast disappearing due to new age distractions in the form of Internet and an excessive focus on other supposedly more rewarding hobbies. To be able to browse through old and new books in all their imposing glory, at leisure, is a delight that sadly a dwindling number of youth understand today. It has become fashionable and indeed in some cases consequently respectable to pronounce the possession of the latest best seller.

As a hobby, reading has exposed me to worlds far and near, emotions inexplicable and strangely unfathomable, it has helped me understand myself better and expanded my heart to accommodate and grasp the feelings of my fellow human beings. When one reads about the tragedies of the poverty-stricken, the grief of the estranged, the joy of the adventurer, the passion and longing of the lovers, one has to admit that there is a sense of the broadening of the spirit; a vision of the shackles destroyed and conquered.

If such is the joy experienced by an ardent lover of books, imagine the happiness, a person like Mr. TS Shanbhag would have felt loving his shop with such fervor and facilitating the transfer of nuggets of Wisdom to the ownership of a largely appreciating bunch of people.

1 comment:

Prathiba said...

I can't agree enough.... I haven't been to the Premier many times... But on the exquisite experience of reading, ironically, I am unable to express in words :)