Bookmark #44

Every café adorns itself with shelves adorned with random books. It always baffled me, perhaps due to the limitation of my own understanding, that how could someone read random books for an entire duration of a café visit. You couldn’t finish it in that time, and reading it halfway made no sense. Hell, most people I know don’t visit cafés alone; they dread it and shudder at the thought of sitting by themselves. Even if I could do the task of sitting alone by myself in a corner, I’d bring my own book. Until some days ago when I found myself reading a Catherine Cookson book. The part which broke my heart was that I had to leave it almost at halfway mark as I left the café. Before I left though, I hid it in the shelf itself. It was my own ploy to make sure no one picks it up or relocates it when I visit next. I went again the next day and read through most of it, leaving a few chapters again, as I sipped some cinnamon joe. I went on another day, and I finished it. It was satisfying. The idea of going to a place, slyly hiding a book so that it’s always there, and revisiting a place consecutively only to know how the story ends was something I never imagined myself doing. Books on shelves in cafés don’t baffle me anymore, and all it took was a little side-quest of reading one from a random shelf myself.

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