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Posts Tagged ‘crossword’

We, the third graders of Supari Tank visited the Crossword bookstore on Saturday, December 12, 2009 after school. Sachin Bhaiyya and Elena Didi took us there in two autorickshaws. Our class chant “Read baby read” says, “The more we read, the more we learn. Knowledge is power, and power is freedom, and we want it!” After visiting the bookstore I understood what our chant really means.

When we  reached the store we checked in our schoolbags, got tokens and said thank-you to the guard who smiled at us. The shop was like a big, blue lake of reading water and the books were like its waves. It was waiting for us to start drinking from it. I felt thirsty. There were rows and rows of coloured books. Each row was seven shelves high and neatly arranged books towered over us on all sides. First we stopped at the Top 10 fic… fiction and non-fiction section. Bhaiyya said that these books were liked by lots of people who spent money to buy them. Surely they must be something special! We took out a book called The Kite Runner. It was written by Khaled Hosseini. I ran my hands over the smooth cover. There was a beautiful picture on it of a boy looking at something beyond a door. It must be something that happens in the story. I don’t know why but I held the book to my nose and inhaled the smell of the fresh new pages deeply. I could almost smell the wonderful worlds of adventure and magic that awaited us. Seeing my example, all my friends buried their noses in their books and breathed deeply. One boy breathed so deeply he started to cough!

The children’s section was upstairs but we did not go there at first. We walked slowly through the whole shop and saw different types of books. Book shops are like candy shops. All candy is sweet but it comes in different flavours. Even books, they are all meant to be read but each one talks about different things. Orange-coloured boards high above us told us what section we were in. We had to crane our necks to read them. In art, we sampled through a coffee table book on paintings. We felt like laughing as the people in some paintings were not wearing any clothes! I had to hold my hand on my mouth to stop giggling. In Travel there were books about faraway places. These places are real and you have to sit in a plane to go and see them. We pulled out Lonely Planet China (“From Chandni Chowk to China!”), saw photos of the Great Wall. To say hello in Chinese you have to say “Ni hao”. Then was Business and Management. I took a walk around Self-improvement, past the legs of customers waiting to pay their money. A sign said discount and percentages were marked in red marker pen on white labels on the books.

Sachin Bhaiyya took another book “Maximum City” – and showed us the photo of Suketu Mehta, the bhaiyya who wrote it. Hmm. Suketu Bhaiyya doesn’t seem very different from me. When I grow up maybe I can become a writer too. How lovely it would be to have a book I have written shining like that on a shelf in Crossword! Sachin Bhaiyya explained how we could read the main idea of the book on the back cover to know what it was about. Then we could decide if we wanted to buy it or not. The Encyclopedia section was amazing. We found an atlas of the universe. I looked and looked at the beautiful Milky Way. I want to sit on the rings of Saturn but it is very far. Sachin Bhaiyya was worried we might tear the page. Elena Didi told us we had to be quiet in a bookstore. They should not worry so much. We are grown ups now!

Then we went up the stairs to the children’s section. On our right was a fluffy red Santa Claus. I hugged him. This part of the shop was marvelous! There were comics – Tinkle and Tintin and Asterix! There were story books with flaps that opened and toys for learning that sang alphabets and numbers. Many other children were there with their mummies and papas. And the toys! Scrabble and Pictionary and Lego. Bhaiyya plays them with us in school during the recess sometimes. Now we sat down on the fluffy carpet to read. The carpet had pictures of my favourite cartoons on it. I even spotted Pinocchio, whose tales are in our Balbharti English text-book. We read and read. There were so many books there. I wanted to read and read. I did not want to go home. It was cold and I wanted to go to the bathroom. But I wanted to read so much so I controlled myself and read some more. Picture books and story books and colouring books and comics and poems and fairy tales. Would bhaiyya and didi bring us back here?

Finally it was time to leave. Bhaiyya and didi asked us to choose a Ladybird fairytale book for each of us. I chose ‘Rapunzel’. I felt very proud to collect my book in a bag and leave the store. We gave our tokens and got our bags. Outside again, bhaiyya talked to us about reading flue.. fluency and sight words. He said that we should be able to read many words correctly in a story so that we can read more, understand more and learn more, and so be able to read even more! I am so excited to read. I can’t wait to go home and see my gift.

We took a taxi and returned to school where our parents were waiting for us. On the way we excitedly talked about all the different books we saw and read. When I grow up I am going to work in a bookshop. Then I can read all the books I want and at any time. Reading will be my work. I will be in a house made of chocolate stories, with chairs made of comics cake and walls made of poems pie. Or maybe I will become like that bhaiyya on the back cover of the book. I will write a story. Then everyone will read it. And my mummy and papa will be very happy!

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