Monday, 24 December 2007

Burying your Past

Those who have reluctantly thrown away or sold them as recycled paper would have felt as though a part of their beings have been discarded. That was precisely how I felt when I went through all the books that I had bought and read in my life. I had been loathed to part with them but I did just that recently. There were books that carried memories of my youth. There were books that shaped my beliefs, my attitudes, my worldview. There were books that taught me the virtues of truth, honesty and sincerity. And there were books that moved me to admire those who stood up for their rights and their beliefs against overwhelming odds. It was so difficult to let go of these books. However, I had to for these books, most of which are thirty years old or more have been left collecting dust and cobwebs. I had sold them to the recycling centre for 24 Malaysian cents a kilo.

They charted the stages of my life, as I graduated from one phase to another. There were the books that hark back to the innocence of youthful escapades. There were books that explore the romanticism of the Wild West, stories that depict espionage in the era of the cold war, books that explore the psyche of the criminally insane and books that contain nuggets of Sufi wisdom, the mysticism of the east. Then there were books that explore ancient Rome and its decadence, on Alexander the Great's conquests, on the Egyptian pharaohs, on Genghis Khan, the Mongol, and his sacking of Persia, on the Middle Kingdom and the age of footbinding, on the samurai warlords and their practice of seppuku in medieval Japan.

Books, they are the food for the soul.


  1. Should sell the books to 2nd hand book store mah... Let those not so wealthy also enjoy the fun of reading a good book. Y sell to recycle center? Sayangnya...

    But where can I find a 2nd hand book store in Batu?

  2. I am still clinging on to quite a lot of books and these, I am reading them again after so many years. Your are right, but there are no second hand bookstore in my home town. Thought of giving them to schools, but as you know the standard of English is so low that they are not going to benefit from them