Two years back, I would have said I was a beach bum. Not in the absolute sense of the term, but yes, at least twice a year you would find me either traveling near a water body or talking about traveling to a water body. Then towards the end of 2019, right when I was having a wonderful vacation with my family in the Andaman Islands south of India, a scary, villainous virus was tunnelling its way from China to the rest of the World. Oh how oblivious I was then. Silly me, what did I know.
Fast forward 2021, almost a year and a half later, and we find ourselves locked in. Trying to stay safe inside our homes. Not traveling, not meeting people. Battling this virus with a ferocity.
If I thought I was a book bum two years back, I hadn’t seen this coming. Just like the whooshing sound of the waves crashing in front of me, soothed me then, escaping into the world of books have been saving me in these last two years. We’ll talk about what is saving us during the pandemics in another post.
For now, here are the ways I realised I’ve become a book bum from a beach bum. If any of these apply to you as well, welcome to the book bum club and give me a virtual high five! 😉
- When people were hoarding groceries and toilet paper and funky PJs, I was hoarding books. I’m not kidding, ask my mom. She was aghast one day when she opened my cupboard (yes we have cupboards here in India, no walk in closets for us :P), and found two shelves filled with books that I’d bought and only half a shelf devoted to my clothes. if clothes had feelings, they probably would’ve been planning a coupe to overthrow the ‘reign of the books’ 😀
- When others were posting delectable pictures and videos of all the home-masterchef dishes they were cooking and baking up, I was spamming my social media feed with delectable pictures of books that I’d read and books that I’d bought and books that I planned to read. My non reader friends were truly bored. But my perseverance and passion paid off, because the bookstagram community seemed to be full of people like me – who preferred devouring books 😉
- When my friends and family were dealing with the stress and trauma brought on by the virus by binge watching shows on Netflix, I was dealing with the same by binge reading book series.
- When my friends were joining Watsapp, Telegram, and Discord groups that provided updates on the pandemic situation globally, I was on multiple reading challenge groups – The Poppy War challenge, Asian Reading Challenge, Indian Lit Reading Challenge…etc etc
- Sometimes I stand in front of my bookshelf, and stare longingly and lovingly at my books and plan for the future – which of these books will travel with me next? Which book will be lucky enough to be featured in the next exotic location bookstagram picture?
- On my lockdown birthday last year, I bought myself a bunch of books. And all of my friends and relatives bought me a bunch of books. I felt absolutely grateful for friends and family who understood me and loved me so much! 😀 I’m hoping some of them will read this post and will take that as a cue for this year’s lockdown birthday present idea too 😉
- When my friends and family and the world was and is continuing to reel with the tragedy of losing someone dear to the pandemic, or struggling with keeping abreast because of the lockdown and loss of employment and education, and when I have no idea how to comfort them, I send them pictures of quotes from the books I’m reading, that have comforted me. Some said, those lines comforted them too. Like Boyzone sang, “Its only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away...” (Please don’t unfollow me for quoting Boyzone now :D)
I’m sure I have missed a few other reasons and signs about me turning into a book bum during the pandemic. Maybe you guys can fill those in the comments section? 😉