Prashant's Reviews > If on a Winter's Night a Traveller

If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
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Apr 21, 12

Read from April 18 to 20, 2012

Today, when my girlfriend asked me to give her company to New Delhi's electronics market, I couldn't help but smile. Last time when I visited the same place with her, I found a wonderful street shop selling second hand books in great shape.

With a couple of hours to spare before her laptop gets repaired, no place could be better to spend the time. I went through heaps of books and ended up buying 9 books. I wanted more but had no money left in the wallet.

This time I knew that it's going to be another one of those times when I will go on a shopping spree. So I decided to keep limited money in my wallet.

But seeing me again the owner started to unearth every copy of good books or authors(his recommendations!).

I ended up going through all the boxes that he had not even opened to put the books on display. After much deliberation and doing multiple shortlisting of books I came out with 11 books and a debt of 500 bucks take from my girl friend. She had to finally physically force me to leave the shop.

After coming back I am used to checking GR for the ratings of all the loot of that day and to mark them TR. And someone should see the glow on my face when I find that I have just purchased a gem in a bargain. I bet that I will not have that big a smile on my face even when I get my PG degree.

I have to vacate my hostel room the next month and have serious space issues in my room. I already have my cupboard full of books and piles have been formed right on my desk. Now I have two desks in my room and one is covered with books.

Oh! How can I make you believe but I have been trying to contain this impulse of buying books since I knew that I have over shot my limits.

But still I can't stop myself from owning another story. I know I have to complete and internalize all the good books that I already have before me but I still want to own more stories, great stories, great worlds.

It feels the same as to own a gem which you have unearthed and are thrilled to see it in your hands.

It may accompany me while waiting for the flight or a train or during a long journey when I want to cut myself from the world.

I don't want to run out of good stories, great beginnings and amazing endings.

I want them to remain with me, all the time near me, just within reach. Where I can pick them, read them and live in them anytime I want.

It's a strange ride being a reader. Especially being someone who just loves books.

Someone who lives with the books and in the books. Someone who have piles of them lying everywhere, still unread. Still have the rush to own more of them to discover at a later date.

Oh! I have heard of this author, his 'that' book was amazing, I should buy this one too.

Oh! I have never read this author but the name looks familiar, maybe he is someone good, let's buy this work of his and give it a try.

Oh! I was searching for this book for so long. The editions online are so costly, I just can't leave this one here.

Oh! The name of this book sounds familiar. Maybe it's a good one or maybe I have read a bad review of it but will still have to check it myself. Maybe I will like it!

This is what Calvino did for his readers. For those who have the pangs if they are not able to buy a book that they want to because any of the worldly constraints.

He wen one step ahead and made us feel the pain when we are not able to read the book any further.

Not because we have chosen to keep the story aside for some time but because the story is incomplete. The story just breaks in between.

The book just keeps on changing, the story just keeps on breaking, the reader just keeps on agonizing in his pain.

Hopping between one book to another the reader feels the void inside him deepening. The voice in his head getting louder. The world not making sense. Things going bizarre.

Well, this is a journey for the readers to cherish. The reader who lives with his books all the time. The reader who always have in his hands the book he is currently enjoying.

He will read standing up, anywhere!

He feels the comfort in having the story right in his hands. The whole life of the characters waiting for him, for him to turn the pages and be explored.

If the story is at a critical juncture this reader will not even answer anyone, will decide to wait for the next train to arrive, will forget that anyone else even exists in the world but himself and the book.

This book is for those readers!
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Reading Progress

04/18/2012 page 200
77.0% "Loved it till now. The writing style is very unique!"

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Kritika Swarup Guess the book and the shopping both gave you some good times!

Shriya Prashant, would you believe me if I tell you that when I read your review, I felt as if you've written the story of my life? This is EXACTLY how I end up buying books and y friends personally drag me out so many times. More than anything, this made me love the review!

Prashant Shriya wrote: "Prashant, would you believe me if I tell you that when I read your review, I felt as if you've written the story of my life? This is EXACTLY how I end up buying books and y friends personally drag ..."

Shriya, your comment made this review more special for me. I am glad that you felt this way.

Shriya Prashant wrote: "Shriya wrote: "Prashant, would you believe me if I tell you that when I read your review, I felt as if you've written the story of my life? This is EXACTLY how I end up buying books and y friends p..."

This is a great review, Prashant! I'm so sure so many people would be able to relate to it! :)

message 5: by ... (last edited Sep 04, 2012 02:24AM) (new) - added it

... In the words of Helene Hanff, you are a true Comrade! I received this book as a birthday present three months ago. I feel so good after reading your review that I am finally going to start my copy today.

Prashant Glad that you liked the review, Navdeep.

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