KOLKATA: Book readers were in a minority even six-seven decades ago, but now their numbers have grown, celebrated author Ruskin Bond said here today.
Recalling his days in school, the 80-year-old author said there were no television, no internet or video games which we blame now for the absence of reading habit but even then out of 35 boys in his class only 2-3 were actually fond of reading books.
"Actually the reading habit is not absent, its always been a minority pastime," he said after the inauguration of the Kolkata Literary Meet at the Victoria Memorial here.
"Today reading is still a minority pastime but that minority in terms of numbers has grown and grown because of education and the larger number of people who can read," Bond said when asked to comment on how reading has declined over the years.
"We had a good library. We had no distractions. Once in a while we went to the cinemas, but reading was always limited to a few people," the author known for works like 'Dust on the Mountains', 'The Blue Umbrella', 'Funny Side Up' and 'A Flight of Pigeons', said.
Having conferred prestigious awards like the Padma Bhushan and Sahitya Akademi Award, Bond has written over 500 short stories, essays and novels.
He recalled how a detective thriller written by him once upon a time still remained unpublished. "I wrote but no one published it because it was so bad," the author said.