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I have been reading a few books lately, maybe a tad bit more than my usual numbers. Pausing for a while to steal back a glance, it dawns on me that i have been savouring a couple of varying genres back to back, with equal alacrity and inquisitiveness, an ardent spark which unfortunately, incepts only once in a while every year.
There has been a thought penting up all this while too, rather a conclusion, something similar to the music or lyrics scenario when it comes to judging a song. Replacing the concerned terms, the million dollar question when it comes to books would be : ‘Which matters the most to you – Story or the style ?’
There are authors who dissect each shred of sun’s ray to its minutest layer concentrating on its spellbinding anatomy and contrarily there are authors who tend to sideline the nature to a mere statement and pass on to delve in more practical and pragmatic nuggets and there is yet another group who are oblivious to the mysteries of nature, but has gripping and fine tuned stories which leave you glued to the pages from end to end.
There are readers who would devour a book for the sole purpose of satiating their passion and there are readers who in addition to sufficing their urge to read, utilise a book as a means to polish their own grip on language – the aspiring author bunch. For some its the fast paced propulsion of the story that matters, but for some, the succulent details and subtleties would be the elixir. I have seen people who chuck away a Amitav Ghosh and the likes ranting about its monotonous pace, instead they relish each and every word of the burgeoning pile of those ‘ You – may not – like – how – i – say – it – but – you – will – definitely- like – what- i – have- to – say ‘ kind, like there is no tomorrow.
Is it just me, for i do feel that a realistic fiction written in superlative language is more appealing and engrossing than a thriller tagged one or for that matter any book contrived using a mediocre array of words and a bland style. On the contrary, definitely a thriller if sprinkled with an enviable choice of words can sometimes be the best too! And so is a book rich in enlightening or contemplative nuggets though written in a simple and lucid manner. Briefing it, i guess a good book for me is an amalgamation of good content and elegant style with equal weightage to both. Its not the story alone that matters, at least not so for me , but the richness of the content and the way it is conveyed. There might be naysayers to this theory, but i believe i am not alone in this regard.
I strongly believe that getting published, to this day, hasn’t become a smooth joyride devoid of bumpy obstacles, though the current publishing scenario might seem like one and i highly respect and admire the perseverance with which those books have been crafted. But somehow, a bunch of those books doesn’t seem worthy enough of the time or effort from the part of the reader. On the other hand, good writers who are obstinate about getting their work published by an acclaimed publishing house get rejected, and they live with their worries for they are purists who are against the idea of self publishing. (On a serious note , with no tinge of sarcasm, do good books get released in that manner?)
There was a time when as a kid, i used to look upon published writers as the most gifted people in the world. They were mature people who wrote sensible stuff and had me reading late into the night while i rejoiced in the sheer beauty of the world they led me to. Now i see a published author in every other alley, some classy, but the others way too clumsy and casual; i see toddlers, teenagers and even infants signing their published books in every other corner and the confused and flabbergasted me has made it a habit to search the web for reviews before grabbing a freshly churned out book to read, instead of the usual norm of reading whatever one could lay one’s hands on. On the other side of the coin, there are subdued prolifically penned works too whose existence is sometimes masked by the shimmering book releases of the over hyped ones.
It seems all that glitters isn’t pure gold after all, especially not in today’s world. It is high time we imbibed those proverbs rather than merely acknowledged them. Seriously.