Monday, February 8, 2010

Fiction to Fantasize OR Non-Fiction to Materialize

Fiction or Non-fiction? For a girl, it's like choosing between Pink or Black.
Both are gorgeous but depends on what you feeling like today.

Within minutes an assortment of books piled up in Gargi's room.
  1. Her Mission- Find the bookmark. 
  2. Her Strategy- Toss all the books on the table and bed. Flip through each one of them (even though the target bookmark is lying in the carton of stuff from work.)
  3. The Outcome- Two girls discussing fiction vs. non-fiction.
Ever since the beginning of my sabbatical I have been hooked on to fiction alone. It seemed like I was driven to establish my lost contact with a world I had ignored all this while. When your reality is filled with things you want to escape, its natural that you choose the tunnel of fiction which will let you in another world. A heavy head in the evenings only allowed me to read Ruskin Bond. It was a welcome window to escape to his hills and the rumored Pari Tibba (Fairy Hill, do you think it exists?). Now when I have the luxury of time and a stress-free existence, I am drawn to questions of objective relevance. While reading, I now have the space to mull over certain parts for longer and give them the 'thought space' they deserve.

Talking of thought space, I may be an author's nightmare. I have never read a book one at a time. Depending on the mood and time of the day; I pick a book and continue reading it hoping I tagged the bookmark correctly. Earlier this assortment of these books would contain a mix of fiction, non-fiction and sometimes magazines. Of late it has been only fiction. This didn't strike me until Gagri mentioned that fiction puts her to sleep.

What she said next with a halo around her head was "Non-fiction is often just a fact file. If there are things we need to know, why not weave them beautifully in fiction. We'll get the same know-how and much more." It's a reasonable thought. Fiction includes juicy pieces of information which are bait to get "googling". While this is good, the experience may not be internalized. Doesn't matter if it's Paulo Coelho or Malcolm Gladwell- A reading experience which gets you "googling" your mental space works the best for me.

4. The Bottomline- Look for the bookmark in the carton. Look for a book which suits your current mood. Doesn't matter if its pink or black.


  1. nice...i like...and even i do the same. read several books at a time. did i show u all the books i've read; rather read a few pages and left in the book mark. right now i'm reading 3 books. :P

  2. I only buy books, fiction or non-fiction, that I would love to hold under my bedside lamp and read before I sleep. Anything else is an effort and therefore avoidable.

  3. Snigdha, you're just so spunky!!! I wish I get more time to get to know you more & better. It's a pleasure reading what you've written about these books, I've done that about thrice by now and not without grinning. Not that it's funny or ridiculous, it's just that you're such a good communicator, you've expressed what I (and am sure there're many more) feel so aptly and exactly about time and books and thought space (brilliant phrase you coined there). I so enjoyed discovering some of my own thoughts mirrored and so clearly explained something my muddled mind finds no time or inclination to do. I'll surely be frequent visitor from now on.

  4. Par gargi ben book mark mila ki nahi???

  5. @Gargi- Three books! Just pray the book mark is still intact.

    @Bishwanath- You put together a lovely visual. It's true- at the end of it what sinks in best in those last moments of 'awakeness' works for me as well.

    @Shivangi- Thanks! I was so happy to hear from you. Hope Delhi is treating you well. Do find some time to catch up on reading. Good Luck!

  6. book mark toh mila gaya. par vapas kho gaya.