Fellow Book Worms :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA Day 1 - THE WEEK For All BookLovers Across The Globe

Wow, so here is the start to my Amazing Week of Books And Booklovers that is being kickstarted by the Armchair BEA.

So as the new week begins, we start on our Armchair BEA Agenda 2011 with an interesting and fun-filled week to look forward to. A great place to meet many interesting people who love books as much as I do and a place where you can always be sure of fun-filled interesting contests, giveaways, agendas and more.

The first day of this book and book-lovers week is today, Monday, and here we are, all book-lovers from across the globe, talking about who we are and what we love.

I am Debolina from Mumbai, India, and it was by chance that I recently happened to come across the Armchair BEA site from a fellow book-lover's blog....thank god for that! I have been going back each single day to get my dose of books and book lovers ever since.

I am a writer and a stay-at-home mum by choice, friend and sometimes dictator to my three-n-half year old. I was previously working as the editor for a parenting and lifestyle magazine, but am now only working as a freelancer due to time constraints.

I am a die-hard book-lover and I really love old books, especially the ones I pick up at flea markets, the ones that have been thumbed down with age, who have seen many keepers before them, but have now finally found a home with me. I love the yellow-ed look of the pages, imagining the people and the families where these books are coming from.

I have seen many bloggers host memes and giveaways, but till date, I have not got myself to do a giveaway, as I get too attached to my books and can't bear to part with them. I am consciously trying to start hosting giveaways this year....Do come back to see if I have made any progress on that :)

I had started this book blog as just a journal of sorts, where I would simply keep track of my favourite books. But as I got more involved and got in touch with other book-bloggers, the community soon began to expand and now I am really involved with a lot of other fantastic bloggers who share some amazing insights into books. I love reading and am never without a book, so much so that even my daughter is a complete bookworm already at her toddler stage..her bookshelf is already filled to the limit and we are trying to make new space now. Earlier I used to read two-three books at a time, but now I concentrate on one book more, as I feel it gives me a better connection to the book that way.

There are also many friends whom I have met and found through books. I am one of those people who is always trying to bend down and check the title of the book in your hand. So whether I see someone on the flight, at the airport, at a clinic, at the mall, supermarket...anywhere...I just have to try and catch a glimpse of the title, and many times, I have even walked up to complete strangers and asked them how did they find the book !! And I have made a few lifelong friends like that....

I have never really chosen my books based on the awards they have collected. When I pick up a book, I flip through the first few pages, and if I feel the first page or so is interesting enough, I bring it home. Many times, even the cover jacket can be tempting enough to bring it back with me.

There are so many different kinds of books that I love - I like books that talk about real-life situations, books that talk about families and generation leaps. I love books that talk about history and culture and I always love to read books that share stories from other parts of the world and gives me a window into the lives of those who have a different tradition and life than ours. Of course I also love to read Indian literature, especially since Bengali is my native tongue, and I particularly like works of Indian-origin writers. Sometimes I also enjoy autobiographies. I do like mysteries, psychological thrillers, chic-lit, travelogues and any kind of writing that is directly from the heart and does not come across as vain. I hate pretend writers, those who will blindly copy a situation or setting and put it in their own work, irrespective of the country or culture...that is such a dampener....

I love the smell of rain and I love to get wet in the rain too :) I also love to take in the fragrance of old books and sometimes, you can find me buried inside a book, filling my lungs with that heady smell of words. And if you happen to get a peek in my handbag, you will always find a book there without fail..

When I get some time to myself, I love to do something for the lesser-fortunate children, especially as there are so many little ones out there on the streets in India. Earlier I used to teach the slum kids, but have had to give that up due to time constraints. I do cook for these street kids once a week at home and go out and share the meal with them. I also work with a few NGOs who work with slum and street kids, children of beggars and construction labourers, and I help collect and donate toys, clothes, books, footwear and food for them. I truly believe that if each one of us would take it upon ourselves to look after at least one such unfortunate child, the world would be a much better place. It really does not take too much to bring in a few smiles. I have recently taken my individual initiative a bit further and started a group on FaceBook called 'Feed A Kid Every Saturday' Do visit and join if you believe in it and spread the word.

If you like my blog, feel free to follow and share your blog link in the post here, so that I can visit your book blog too. You may choose to follow me on FaceBook or on Twitter as DebolinaRGupta. I like making new friends and meeting new interesting people who also share a common love of books. I hope to see you here more often and read your comments :)

- Debolina Raja Gupta