I remember this one time asking my younger brother what he did do that day – and his answer was oh! I was just surfing for a couple of hours. And I was quite baffled at that time – since I had not realized the addictive nature of browsing the web. The word ‘Browse’ originates in the old french word broster, which means to sprout/shoot/bud. In essence, it means growing from the root – organically. 

Pic of search bar on a browser

Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs – one of my favourite activities on such a day is curling up with a book and tea. I browsed through my Goodreads list and realized the book I wanted it available in the library. I decided to go for the old physical book instead of an e-book. And when I walked into the library, I realized that I would have to browse to get the book I wanted physically. I was so nostalgic when I walked through the aisles looking for my letter – and in the midst, I stopped to check out a book/author because the title sounded intriguing. I would look at their book cover – pick a page at random. And once I got my book, I ended up getting a couple more books that caught my eye.

This little experience yesterday made me realize how we forget how we used to do things. My parents and brother have a vacuum robot that efficiently cleans/mops the entire house. My nieces have not grown up in a world where an actual human being comes into the house to clean, dust and mop. Browsing through books – physically is also one such activity. I remember very vividly going into bookstores and literally browsing. I did not have reviews or ratings to pick a book, but it was my instinct. And yes, there were a couple of times when I picked a book and did not like it that much – but the experience was richer.

pic of a woman browsing in a library

I am sure some of you are thinking of shopping too! On that front, I am happy to report that online works best for me. But libraries and books – have a soft spot for me. It’s like another kind of a home with other kindred spirits who get books and read as I do.  

Books have seen me through my bleak times, figure out homesickness, manage loneliness, and get through grief and disappointment. And in some cases, authors like Julia Cameron and Eckhart Tolle – I would call them my friends as I have had many conversations with them – quite enlightening ones too! They opened up a new world – nothing works like a good book. 

I am a big proponent of moving forward in the digital world, but let’s enjoy what we cherish the most – as they may only be around for a short time. And will turn into memories or stories that start with – ‘Remember that time when….’

What do you cherish?

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