Books…Larger Than Life

Collage.Shelley's Book

Books do have something

enduring about them, that

makes, some of them –

larger than life!

This amazing truth

suddenly dawned upon me

as I accidentally discovered

from my own personal library,

a very…very old copy

of P.B. Shelley’s poems,

purchased in 1939, i.e., about 75 years ago,

by none other than my father,

as a P.G. student of English Literature.

It still bore his name and date in neat letters.

I gazed at the vintage volume for a while,

trying to find out its title etc..

With the outer cover missing,

pages yellow, termite punched, virtually brittle,

betraying ripe old age; the binding

had literally collapsed setting the leaves loose,

to be handled with utmost care,

I somehow managed to free

the inner title page stuck between

other leaves owing to moisture.

How, I pondered,

as I held ‘Shelley’s Poems’ in my hand,

some books are fortunate enough

to outlive their creators – the authors,

and some others are still more blessed

to stay with their readers…even

their successors, year after year,

decade after decade,

enjoying the ripe old age…

being there…larger than life.

So, what say? Don’t books have something

enduring about them, that

makes, some of them –

larger than life!

*******

Ashok Misra

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