A faded brown, a dusty look, the smell of a forgotten existence in some corner of the shelf, a used-and-abandoned feeling...this is how I like my books. The spotless, shiny book covers, the white pages with bright black ink that almost throws the contents on to your face, the handle-with-care look, the fresh, unused feeling is not something I enjoy. Yes I am one of those people who like to buy books rather than borrow, read and return. My growing up years have, I confess, been spend in Lending Libraries where I did exactly this: borrow, read, return and pay for the pages. But I've always tried to keep a note of some of the books I have thoroughly enjoyed or books that have impacted me in some way or books where some chapters have remained deeply etched in my mind or some books that hold an emotional quotient (maybe I find the author charming or maybe I am in love with the title or simply because it's the favourite book of my first crush!). Later, when I could afford the money and the time, I have tried to find these and add them to my little collection of books.
There, inside the dusty shelves of my cupboard, they lay for months...sometimes years. Until a friend would ask to borrow it or I would suddenly rediscover my love for it and search it out from the many boxes/shelves. And then when I see its shiny clean surface replaced by a dusty coat and find the pages to have a new-found dullness, I fall in love with it all over again. There's something about the perfectly packed, new, glossy look of books that I don't quite enjoy. For me books have to have a secret life of their own, their own years of memories, their own many experiences...and with this they age into the dull, dusty look.