Unless and Until

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read that book.

The above line was borrowed from John Green’s ‘The Fault In Our Stars‘. The book, Of Course, I loved. But more than that, I loved this line from it. Not for any other reason but the fact that so many books have made me feel similarly a multiple of times.

I have read a number of books that have confused me to the very core. I wonder if whether I should keep this book a secret, like something personal, something that belongs to only me, something I wouldn’t want to share with any other living being, something that if shared would lose it’s immense value. Or if I should shout it off of rooftops, tell the world of the unimaginable beauty it beholds, let everyone else have a bite, and dwell on the realization that so many people have been moved just as I have been.

Then there are books you just don’t want to finish, trying to savor every last bit of it, reading a numbered few pages and being delighted in the anticipation of the coming day and the further reading that awaits. And there are also those books that excite you so deeply, those that you can’t wait to get to the end of, that keep you up all night and tense about what might happen next, ones you couldn’t put down for a moment.

There are books that make you sad. That give a flicker of hope before crushing your heart and your happiness in it. That are composed of words that reek of doom. That combine elements which can never go well together: cunning and innocence, love and jealousy, life and tragedy. The ones that never get to the happy ending, the ones that never end where they ought to, the ones that are cruel in their very essence. The one that make you hope despite reason and stun you with a magnitude of mercilessness that is unparalleled.

Then there are books where you know everything will be fine. That nothing bad can happen and all short-comings will eventually be resolved. That life is happy and the sky bright blue. That are ignorant, I admit, but that make you glad for life and it’s gifts. That are optimistic beyond logic. That care not to drag you out of your comfort zones. That tell lies and let you believe them without a line on your forehead.

There are books that appeal to the immature teenager in you. And the dark and cruel human in you. And the sad and tortured soul in you. And the wise and responsible adult in you. And the kind and giving humanitarian in you. And the deserted and lonely heart in you.

Which are the kind of books you prefer? Ones that let you escape into another fantastical world or the ones that mirror reality? Ones that describe love in it’s million forms or the ones that question our society and its innumerable faults? Ones that keep you up or the ones that let you rejoice in anticipation? Ones that make you sad or ones that make you optimistic despite reason?

Also, which book is your favorite and why should I read it, too?


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