Waiting with bated breath…

This post titled, “Waiting with bated breath…” is written for #WriteTribeProBlogger challenge, Day-4 (Prompt: Bated Breath)

problogger waiting bated breath

Waiting with bated breath…

Nowadays, everything is online. The idea of buying books online was something I didn’t agree with, not till a few years ago. Looking back in time, I remember two places I loved to visit… the bookstore, and the library.

The rare visits to a bookstore…

I was an introvert, and the majority of my family were non-bibliophiles. So visiting the former of the two was a rarity. Every time I would go out with my family, I would wait with bated breath to see if the paths they took went past a bookstore. My first ever purchase was a copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I think it was the cover art, more than the book itself, that appealed to the pre-teen me. The fragrance that the bookstore had was different. Those times I went to a bookstore was a treat. The experience hasn’t changed after all these years either.

A gem of a neighborhood library…

The library was different. It was close to my house, and opened mainly during the evening. I discovered it on the way back from tuitions. I took a lifetime membership there two days later. The librarian, unlike the one I had at school, was friendly. He would welcome me with a smile, asking what books I loved to read, what books he might be able to get for the library, etc. Whenever he’d note down books to buy and tell me he was going to the market on that day, I would wait with bated breath for his arrival that evening. It was wonderful to see the books I had wanted. It saddened me to see that the library had shut down recently because of an increase in rent he couldn’t afford. Hopefully, he calls up one day to tell me he’s at a different address in the same neighborhood.

And of course, I waited for this book…

I remember the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows released. I got up at 4 in the morning, and went to the library at 5. Just for that one day, he was opening the library at 6. There were some early morning walkers around, a few dogs. There as a cool mist as well. I waited with bated breath for the book to be in my possession. Maybe two or three other patrons of the library came too, but not many. He arrived promptly, and laughed when he saw me there. He didn’t wait to open the library, and put the library seal, just took the book from the bag and handed it over to me. I started reading it at 7am, and finished the book, all 600+ pages, by around 1 in the afternoon. And then, of course, re-read it again the next day!

If you are a bookworm, do you have such a memory? What book have you stood in line for, waiting with bated breath? Maybe you can share a part of that moment with me in your comment?

Liked this? Maybe you can read some of my earlier posts: for Write Tribe | Books.

(Β© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
13th October, 2017)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

42 thoughts on “Waiting with bated breath…”

  1. Never stood in a line for a book. But I have lovely childhood memories of accompanying my dad to the library. He used to get books for himself and I used to get Tinkle for myself. I must have been 6 or 7 years old. Then later when we moved to another area , it didn’t have a library and I used to wait with bated Breath for my subscribed Tinkle copy.
    (Aesha Shah recently posted… As They Wait With Bated Breath….)My Profile

    • It’s wonderful to go to the library, and get a book to read, and then go back for more. πŸ™‚ I would get Tinkle, Archies etc. too. Never subscribed to Tinkle though. Thank you for sharing some of your book memories, Aesha.

  2. Love the smell of library, it’s divine. I was a sucker for Harry Potter too. Now I take pride when my 8 year old enjoys them. And most of the days that’s the topic of discussions.. the wizards, wands and the spells. Ah my true love, books.

    • It’s nice to see that the love for reading has been passed on from generation to generation, Priya. πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing that bookworm part of you in a comment!

  3. I think the only time I wa at his excited for a book was when I got Jeffery Archers books. Short stories one!
    Enjoyed reading your post πŸ™‚

  4. Oh my God! the Harry Potter incident is bit extreme. I remember reading the first HP book which was quite thin in one day on my travel to and fro work. But, well, anything for a good book.

  5. With every single release of a new Harry Potter book, both my daughters and I would fight over first reading rights. And I don’t know how many times I have read those books over and over again. I have used them in my creative writing classes and got my students to fall in love with the books as well!
    (Sunita Saldhana recently posted… Platform 9 ΒΎ #Terminal)My Profile

    • Haha! πŸ˜€ That’s a nice memory, Sunita. Parents and children fighting for first rights to read Harry Potter. So nice! Glad that that love for reading Harry Potter has been passed on to others too!

    • Oh, but I am an introvert, Anubhuti. πŸ™‚ I don’t mingle with many outside, or go to parties etc. I prefer books, and the worlds they create! πŸ˜€

      I didn’t wait for that book, though I was a fan of the little master! πŸ˜›

  6. Nope. I discovered HP much later in life. My first book from the library was the Secret Garden too. But I think I never liked it and went on a reading spree with the Nancy Drew series. That was way back in Grade 7.
    (Shalini recently posted… With Bated Breath)My Profile

    • Oh. Not many would have discovered HP immediately either, T. πŸ™‚ Thankfully, it’s a series that’s lovable even if discovered very very late in life.

      I didn’t like The Secret Garden a lot either at that time, but have since read it and liked it. πŸ˜€

  7. Wow! What a memory! And something I can completely relate to! For me, although there was a library close to home, it was the one at Dad’s office that we used. (Dad was a Central Govt. employee and he had a free access to hordes of books at the TIFR.) And so, it was my job to give Dad a list of about 3-4 books oft myself and 3-4 for my sibling. As Dad had neither the patience, nor a long lunch hour to be able to afford the luxury of browsing on our behalf. We would just look at the back of the current read and give names of books by the same author for our next read. And then we would wait with bated breath for Dad to get us our books in the evening. And I guess you can understand if I tell you, that sometimes, There would be these books that had β€œobjectionable” cover art; and then Dad would just plain refuse to bring them for me. Even if there was nothing β€œobjectionable” in the story itself!
    Thanks for bringing back those memories πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this post!

    • I’m glad this was relateable, Rashmi. πŸ™‚ It’s lovely to have access to lots and lots of reading, I’m sure. Haha. Parents would think there was something objectionable, because they don’t have the luxury to explore the book either. πŸ™‚ It’s nice how protective they are.

  8. I can so relate to your experience in the library and the bookshop. A bookshop is my fav place in the world. I am not at all a shopaholic – I enter a shop, pick a dress, buy it in a jiffy and leave. But, a bookshop. Now, this is one place I would love spending an entire day in! Sadly, I can’t actually carry out my fantasy. Hubby will put out a search warrant for me!
    I don’t have any such incident to share where I waited with bated breath for a book to arrive in a bookshop, but, I do wait with bated breath for a chance when I can just go and spend some time in the bookshop, with no care in the world.
    (Shilpa Gupte recently posted… Spring-cleaning the house, and much more.)My Profile

    • Hi, Shilpa Gupte. I’m not much into picking out clothes either, but can spend a day in a bookshop too. πŸ™‚ My mom knows that can happen, so she’d just call the store, rather than the search warrant. πŸ˜› It’s a nice feeling to wait with bated breath for returning to the bookstore!

  9. Nice memories, Vinay. The first book I was attracted to when I was very young, was Tintin. The one book that eluded me every time I wanted to get it from the school library was ‘And Then There Were None’. There were quite a few people in school who wanted that one and my name was so far down the list that I worried I wouldn’t get it before finishing school. But I was glad when I got it when in Class IX. I read it in one sitting and read it 2-3 times again before handing it back to the library.

    • I discovered Tintin quite late, I think. Not sure when it was. πŸ™‚ I’ve loved Agatha Christie books since forever, but couldn’t get them from the school library. Not sure if it was there, to be honest. Glad you liked my memories, Sreedeep. πŸ˜€ Thanks!

  10. I love, love books and I love posts on books πŸ™‚ Fortunately I had two elder brothers who were also fond of reading and we used to borrow books from a local circulating library. The library these days(like Just Books) are nothing compared to the libraries we used to have back in our town. I don’t remember waiting for a particular book but I have fond memories of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys during my school days πŸ™‚

    • Just Books is quite decent actually. They have a good collection! πŸ™‚ I’ve not taken a membership (yet), but heard a lot of good things about it. The circulating library near our house was a smaller one, but I agree, nothing like JustBooks. It would be better.! πŸ™‚ I have fond memories of those three too, Prasanna.

  11. I love the way you describe your memories with books! Library and Harry potter and the deathly hallows to me back in time and refreshed my memories! My memories were quite similar to ur!

  12. I never waited in a line for a book launch but when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was launched I remember being in school and had insisted my father on getting me one. That is one of the few times I have been so adamant about anything.
    (Nibha Gupta recently posted… Defying Life)My Profile

    • Yeah, Nibha. It’s one of the few times I was adamant too, but still didn’t work. πŸ™‚ Thankfully, the whole box set is now part of my shelf, purchased by my earnings! πŸ˜€

  13. Oh yes! A good book is the only thing I would await with bated breath too. Though these new book stores are good, they can never match the atmosphere and smell of a raddi book shop.

  14. Are you sure this post wasn’t meant for Nosalgia? Because you made me nostalgic about visits to the bookstore and library, not to mention Secret Garden! I remember going to the bookstore whenever I had time to kill, just to browse the books and take in that smell. Now both bookstore and library are online and that smell I can’t even recollect πŸ™

  15. I get this adrenaline rush when I enter a bookshop or a fair. But it’s been a long time since visited a library. In school, my library teacher was a gem of a person. We were allowed to take only one book in two weeks. Imagine?! And I used to finish a book in a day or two those days. But she always gave me more books even though she had to break the rules.
    HP, I started pre-booking from the second book. And would reach the shop just like you, even before they open it. That was one book I couldn’t hide inside my textbooks as always, as if I’m studying and not reading stories.
    (Sheethal Susan Jacob recently posted… A Compliment …)My Profile

    • Hehe! SSJ, somehow, I knew you’d be able to relate to this post more than the rest. πŸ˜‰ Yes. That adrenaline rush to read a book or go to a bookshop was brilliant! πŸ˜€ And yes, definitely have hid novels in textbooks, but I was caught of course πŸ˜›

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