A Scummy Habit of the Past

This is something that bothers me.

When in Guwahati, there would be periods when there was no more new reading material to be had. Specifically, January and February just after the Guwahati Book Fair was over, and around August-September after summer vacations. The local children’s library would not be updated for a few months, and booksellers would fend off questions about fresh stock. In that time of book-famine, one had to be sure that one’s biblical reserves were taken care of. Items bought at the Book Fair should not be consumed immediately, and there should be an adequate buffer of consumables for those never-ending periods. The same thing went for music. Back then, the only new music I actively bought was AR Rahman soundtracks, and those were twice-a-year releases, too.

This continued even in college, where weekends of Hyderabad travel, where trips to second-hand bookstores would yield stocks of reading material for a month or so, but one missed monthly trip and I was down to figuring out who had something readable in their hostel rooms, or worse – think of reading actual (shudder) text-books.

So I got into this habit of deferring consumption until there was a sufficient number of items in the queue. Pacing myself, not over-indulging. This served me well at that time, and forced rereads to a minimum. I call it the Scarcity Voice. It gives me pause before I go wild. As I look at a full run on my shelves, and am about to lunge at it, it whispers that if I read it, there is nothing else left. Once upon a time, this was a Very Good Thing.

The problem has long gone, there is no dearth of consumable matter, nowadays. But this habit of not pouncing on a book immediately after having bought it, it’s there still and it …it bothers me. There are times I want to froth at the mouth and go on a Rampage of Rapid Reading, just to show the Scarcity Voice who is boss. And sometimes I do. I chuckled over the first two (out of five) Vizbig volumes of Dragon Ball last night. Not caring that there are only three volumes left.

But the Voice comes back, it does. Which is why I bought the nine Vizbig volumes of Dragon Ball Z on an unplanned eBay run. (blush)



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