Sunday 29 September 2013


Perhaps the composition of a blog after such a long hiatus (the word cam to mind as a natural result of reading too many Sherlock Holmes pastiches that had delved on that 1891-1894 period) deserved a more momentous title, but life is unfair, an hence..... But first let me state the so-called decisions that have prodded me into composition of this blog: -

  1. I shall not purchase any more Kindle title: Despite the convenience it offers in times of transfer (and as far as I am concerned THAT is a regular thing), I have found that I never manage to finish Kindle titles. Unless I am reading a really-really taut piece (e.g. the only Jack Reacher work that I had purchased from Amazon, which I had started reading while seating in the Airport, and couldn't desist until it was finished, by the time which my laptop had been practically drained off its battery), which is usually NOT the case since I am/was (more of that LATER) more into slow-burning shudder-inducing stuff, I a compelled to leave the book in the middle to read something else. I have found that for paper (or proper, depending upon your choice of words) books, there is always that temptation of lying down with a slim (or heavy) volume in hand, and continuing until Morpheus beckons. But for Kindle files (or any other e-books) THAT is not possible. Hence, although the procurement of these files (or books) have considerably enriched my collection, I have found that they have remained unread. Another reason is the ghastly nature of Kindle for PC that is supposed to function in my laptop (using Windows 8), which DOESN'T work in offline mode, and I have to connect to the net (even then the ****ing system keeps insisting that I am not connected to internet) every time I wish to read something. So, no more Kindle for me, thank you.
  2. I shall not purchase any more books of Horror stories: Now, THIS is one decision that would probably stun my acquaintances into silence. I have been reading horror (classified into sub-genres like: English ghost stories, traditional supernatural stories, Lovecraftian horror, Clive Barker-type horror, Vampire fiction, Werewolf fiction, Stephen King-type horror, Jamesian ghost stories, fantasy-horror [created by R.E. Howard and others], modern (urban?) horror, post-modern (imaginary or psychological) horror, real (Charles Birkin-type) horror, and God knows how many else) for such a long period that I can't remember reading anything else. But now, as I am growing older, and the fears have started coming too close to home where non-response to a phone call and delayed arrival in a bus-stop starts liquifying the vertebra, I have concluded that ENOUGH is, actually, ENOUGH. Perhaps, publication of a new collection by Simon Kurt Unsworth (who tells unique stories in a very simple-yet-sharp style) or John Llewellyn Probert (especially if he has written a Samantha & Henderson book) or Barbara Roden, might sway me, and the same might happen if a new Reggie Oliver book comes out, but otherwise, I am OUT. I shall still try to seek out science-fiction (NOT the present lot of post-modern nonsense involving all characterisations and no story) and humourous stories, AND most definitely new Sherlock Holmes pastiches that DON'T deal with Holmes' romantic inclinations or cocaine-habits, but DO place him in unusual circumstances to find out how he fares.
  3. I shall not purchase English Novels: I really despise the door-stoppers, and don't find it economical to spend a lot of money in purchasing something which can't be savoured repeatedly (since the stuff would be stale once I have read). Hence, I am going to give even the next Pendergast adventure penned by Preston-Child a miss, until it is available in India in Mass Market Paperback (frankly speaking, with the Diogenes trilogy followed by Helen trilogy, interspersed by supernatural stuff like "The Wheel of Darkness", I have received rather a heavy dosage of Pendergast, and may do well to stay away from him for now). Therefore, unless it is a slim volume produced by JLP (see above) detailing the adventures of M/s Samantha & Henderson, I am NOT going to buy any new novels, for a while (stretchable).
  4. I shall try to encourage writers and publishers of Bengali books: Facebook is a strange tool. Ever since I had become a member therein, my friends have been writers and publishers, associated with small presses, niche magazines and almost everybody being associated with the Horror genre in professional capacity. It seemed natural, what with me being a horror-glutton. But now, as my Facebook circle is taking in more & more Bengali writers, publishers and poets, I am feeling more relaxed. These are the people who actually share the living & breathing space that I occupy, and yet, these are the people who don't even enjoy 10% of the patronage that I usher upon English books. Why? Is it snobbery? Am I feeling too superior to be a patron of contemporary Bengali literature, so-much-so that some of the unadulterated trash purchased by me outprice the entire work of some of the very best Bengali authors? Am I, willingly or unwillingly, suffering from a typical neo-Colonial literary mindset? These are weighty questions, and their answers have led me to some serious introspection. It is very easy to become self-critical, but I have taken a decision. From now onwards, I shall buy more Bengali books, read more Bengali works (esp. poems and the so-called Juvenile literature, they still have the ability to liven me up), and try to be more humble while discussing Bengali literature with anybody. I hope that would at least be a start.
And thus, I come to the end of my rumblings. I have always been somewhat dissatisfied with the epithet that precedes me in Amazon-reviews (and also in this blog), because I am definitely NOT a perceptive reader. Those two words had come to my mind because I had been quite touched by Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian", which had a rather poignant line on the title. In reality, I am more of a whimsical reader, or, in a flattering style, I am like that planet described by Robert Bloch in his "The Constant Reader", which reads and shapes itself into contours & characters described by books that are brought to its surface by the astronauts. Hence, I conclude this "Thoughts of a Constant Reader", with the hope that in my next blog post, I may share something else apart from all this I-me-my-etc. etc.