Are They Meeting Their ‘Real’ Purpose?

Published: 05th September 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2014 12:49 AM   |  A+A-


HYDERABAD: Those familiar with the world of technology and social media will vouch that the Ice Bucket and Rice Bucket Challenge are a passe. Facebook these days is abuzz with a new challenge-the 10 Books List Challenge/Nomination. If you don’t know what the hullaballoo is about, then you are probably living under a rock or you are no book lover. You are probably not the one who seeks solace and companionship in books; one who dreams of a humongous library; one who rarely meets people who understand your literary preferences and one who knows what a tough task it is to list out JUST 10 books.

Please nominate me!

“Finally! Thanks for nominating me Jemima Gattagalla and s**** u Vamseakrishna Bhimavarapu for not tagging me until after I asked. So here goes books that stayed with me,”  Sri Vidya, a masters student at Osmania University posted on her Facebook wall. Vidya is not an exception here, waiting eagerly to share the books that ‘have stayed with me’, ‘made my childhood and growing up years’ or ‘brought light into my life’, etc.  While on the face of it, this challenge looks as purposeful in its intent as the other viral challenges of the recent past, there certainly is more than what meets the eye.

According to some, it reflects a “disturbing trend” to project one’s intellectual credentials. Amit Datta, a government employee is of the view that the book list nomination has turned out into a game of vanity where people are dying to show off how well read they are.  “Genuine book lovers regard books as something sacred. If a friend asks me to suggest a few good books I would gladly do so. But doing the same to be a part of a crowd that is vying for attention is not my cup of tea.” says Amit Datta.

As Amit mentions, ‘genuine’ readers will know that rarely do two bookworms have the same books on their top 10 list. Interestingly, some of the authors (most foreign and few Indians) feature on most people’s list include the likes of Chinua Achebe, JK Rowling, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka and Haruki Murakami. Throwing heavyweight phrases, philosophers with complicated names and a few Indian authors like P Sainath, Vikram Seth, Gandhi and Guha are sure to get you some intellectual brownie points. 

Throwing more light on this trending behaviour on the social networking site, Psychologist Diana Monteiro says its human tendency to project yourself in a way we want others to see us. “Facebook is the perfect platform for this. Such behaviour also serves as a means of self preservation. Stripping a person to his true and honest self will make him fragile. Hence people behave thus,” she points out.

Diana, however, adds that the image created on the social media is very skewed. “While we cant expect a person to be brutally honest. But only when a person shows only exceptionally good behaviour, should one become wary, she adds.

What you dont know about the Challenge?

The Book Bucket Challenge is an initiative by a Kerala-based NGO, One Library per Village. The drive was taken up for value addition, creating awareness, sharing of latest services, tools and resources for digital libraries to enhance and enrich learning and career development activities. In line with the

Ice Bucket Challenge and the Rice Bucket Challenge, this challenge also requires that you do something for charity. Sadly, the charity aspect of the challenge has gone missing on Facebook. The Challenge is not only about nominating your friends to list down 10 books, but about making a list of books you are willing to donate to libraries or needy people.

So now that we know what the real Book Bucket Challenge is, the crucial question is will you take up the challenge and spread the light of knowledge to the needy?


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