On 10 Merits of Fat Books | DAWN.COM

June, 2010

At the recent launch in Karachi of a new book by this writer titled:" Criss-Cross Times: selected writings about conflict and confluence,2001-2009", three distinguished scholars were unduly generous in their comments about the book's merits. In my own remarks of thanks, this writer only fleetingly referred to the girth of the book. It runs to only 504 pages with a hard cover. Though not in the top league of fat-cats which can go to 800 pages and beyond, my obese production still qualifies in the medium-weight fat class.As I did not dwell at the launch event on the 10 virtues of fat books crystallized from the sources and experience of life, perhaps they deserve serious consideration through the courtesy of Dawn Books and Authors.

To begin with, fat books occupy more space. Therefore, they reduce the need to buy more books to fill up your private library. So fat books help cut expenses and save money. Secondly, when you strongly disagree with someone, you can always throw a fat book at the offender. And be reasonably sure it will deliver the message more precisely than a thin book.If you are in public office and in power, you can " throw the book " at the miscreant in more senses than one. For example, going purely by the book, you can file cases against
him for subversion  of the State or possession of heroin while he is still recovering from the impact of the book. If your target is on a TV talk show, as a host or as a guest, a fat book hurled at the voice and the face can be very cathertic. There is the small detail you need to later attend to regarding the frequent replacement of your TV screen.

Remember the obvious : a fat book makes a nice paper-weight.

When your reach and your grasp do not match, you can stand on the fat book to increase your reach and easily grab things. A bonus is that by this way you also move closer to the stars and to heaven.Kept by your bed-side, a fat book becomes an effective sleeping pill when the nightmare of your day keeps you  wide awake. Just riffle through the several hundred pages without reading them. Sound sleep comes sweetly, swiftly.

A fat book is a great way to start a conversation. And to stop it. You can initiate a dialogue with a friend or even a stranger by asking whether he has read a particular fat book. 9 times out of 10 your target is unlikely to have made the mistake. One time out of 10 there is a chance the person may have been unwise enough to buy it, and worse, to read it. In which case, since you have not even begun to read it, the conversation comes to a full stop.

When you misplace the dumb-bells for your daily physical exercise, one fat book in each hand serves as a fine substitute to tone your muscles.

Thinking of substitutes : when there are too many guests and too few chairs and sofas, a fat book makes a cosy cushion, though a bit hard to sit on. Which may not be such a bad thing for some posteriors.

And into the first part of the final lap: fat books obviously provide more waste paper for a large variety of uses.

At the breathless finishing line : when the load is shedding darkness instead of light, and you cannot afford a generator, and you are in Karachi, with that lovely evening sea breeze, sit on your lawn where a fat book makes for a great fire. As you see all the ideas and content of the fat book go up in smoke, you can think up new ideas for future fat books.

The moral of the story is : always judge a book by the number of pages in it.