It all began with a book.’The Book Thief’
We can say that this book fell into my hands by utter coincidence or simply through pure luck.
I had about 2 minutes to buy a book from the bookstore .So I headed in there to find ‘Why the caged bird’ sings by Maya Angelou, unable to find it by myself I asked the assistant there, apparently he was heading somewhere in a hurry so he vaguely pointed me to one of the shelves on the right. Now normally I wouldn’t have minded perusing the huge column of books but given the time constraint I was under, I needed to find the book fast. It was at that moment when my eyes fell upon this book etched between two rows, the title vaguely visible and the image of a girl clutching a book. That alone was enough to make me curious and examine the book so I picked it up and there it was ‘The book thief’.
The seconds were ticking away fast and I had a very important decision to make. Book thief or Maya Angelou. I glanced over the column of the books once again in the hope to find the said book, not that finding the book would have made the situation any easier for me. But you never know. Alas the second search was also in vain and in the last few seconds of utter confusion and with a ‘Darn it!’ muttered under my breath I finally decided to buy the ‘accidental’ book.
So now coming on to the actual subject of the book ‘The Book Thief. I have to say that it is one of the most amazing work of fiction I have read in a long long time. And the fact that I had no intention of buying this book in the first place makes me all the more thankful that this book came into my life when it did.
So yes now finally moving onto the said subject: ’The Book Thief’. Where do I even begin? There’s so much to talk about. Though the book had just 554 pages, the emotions, the subjects and the characters this book managed to touch couldn’t possibly be covered in a thousand pages if i tried.
Although in Liesel’s words (The protagonist) It all began with a train, snow and her coughing brother, I like to believe that it all actually started with a book ’The gravediggers handbook’ which led to her friendship with her new papa,her basement lessons and which led to the second book thieving .
It was books that helped blossom the seeds of friendship between liesel and max . It was the books that led leisel to ilsa’s house and inadvertently made her a part of her life.it was books that kept max alive and it was books that gave leisel a new life, a new hope and a new dream.
There is a quote in the book that goes like this:
I have hated the words
And I have loved them
And I hope I have made them right.
And then there is another quote
Words give Life
I think I don’t need to speak upon the power that words hold. A book is basically a culmination of words all woven together to tell a story. All it takes is the effort needed to open a book and before you know it the words have made you their own they embrace you and pull you into their world and the gravity is too strong to resist.
Maybe one of the reasons I have had such a fetish for books is that no matter what is going on around you, no matter how bad a day you are having, the moment you open a book you are sucked into another world the words embrace you and offer you the warmth and the consolation that you need the characters tell you that it will all be okay in the end. Just hold on. I feel privileged that I don’t have to risk my life to satiate my need of books unlike the book thief. For whom obtaining a new book meant a new adventure, a new risk but I guess that was part of the fun and that made the books all the more important and special .
When I think about it I thank god for authors every single day because I really don’t know how I would have been able to survive this maniacal world we live in without the help of my fictional friends who’ve always taught me that no matter how strong the force of evil, how dark the journey the good always triumphs. They’ve shown me that being kind and being soft in a world where you are always watching your own back is not a bad thing .
But most of all they’ve shown me how to be humane, to cherish the important things. They’ve given me a completely different perspective from which there is no going back and I am thankful for this every single day.
I would like to conclude with another quote which goes like this:
Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished it just to stay near it- Mark Zusak (Author of The Book Thief)
till then keep reading