Bookish Hangovers

Books are a uniquely portable magic. ― Stephen King

The last time I was hungover a book was when I read the Harry Potter series. I was sucked into the world of Hogwarts, wizards, witches, and racy Quidditch matches and of course, butterbeer! I used to dream about butterbeer. I was under the constant cloud of wizarding magic. That was nearly a decade ago. Jeez…I feel old!

I was reminded of this heady time last Christmas. It was not the effect of just one book, but three. Three beautiful books with the world war as the backdrop: All the Light We Cannot See, Everything is Illuminated and The Book Thief. All the three books were from the POV of characters diverse in their age, gender, beliefs, fears and places they came from. The reader in me was sated. Or so I thought.

Do you read on your long commutes to work every day? If you do, you must be familiar with this feeling: once in while you come across a book that immerses you completely. You wish the commute would never end just so that you can finish the book. You have this wild impulse to play hooky at work, hop down the train, go to the nearest park, and cocoon yourself in the lush prose.


This happened to me. Ergo, my appetite was not exactly sated as I thought earlier. I was going through a process of delayed gratification, waiting every day to board the train to work,  and start reading. I spent the entire month of December and parts of January stealing moments to get ahead with the stories of Marie Laure, Werner, Alex Perchov and Liesel Meminger.

Each of these books was a present from Secret Santas, one at work and one on a Facebook group called Kitaabi Keeda (bookworm in Hindi). All the three books were on my wish lists. And I’m happy that my Secret Santas obliged. 🙂 Two of them had lovely personalized notes. (One of my most favourite-est things: book inscriptions). The person who gave me Anthony Doer’s All the Light We Cannot See sent me a note:

The title got me curious, I read the review & I loved it. What are your dreams, what pulls you towards WWII? Which are other WWII books you own and like?

Here’s my answer:

I really don’t know what pulled me towards the world war. The only book I had read on the event was Dairy of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I guess it was the poetic title of All the Light We Cannot See and the serene blue cover that pulled me towards the book. One thing led to another and I stumbled upon Everything is Illuminated and The Book Thief.

One weird coincidence was, I received two copies of The Book Thief; different editions and one is without any inscriptions. I was in a dilemma then and am still now; do I pass over that copy to someone else, or keep both for myself? I really don’t mind owning two copies of a book. I take such occurrences as being twice blessed. 😀 Yet, I would like to gift this amazing story to someone else. Bad news: when I sit down to wrap the book, I get cold feet. And I keep the book back into my bookshelf. 😛


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