India, Aug. 2 -- I'm nervous already, wondering how the readers of this piece will respond to being categorised. Nervous, too, to see where I land up in this little puzzle - among pieces I like, or despise? But then writing, like reading, is nothing if not an adventure. So here I go, with my black marker, stuffing unsuspecting book lovers into labelled cartons. I suspect you, like me, will be straddling different boxes unclassifiably, like a genre-bending bestseller.

The Courtly Lover

Plagiarism alert: I've pinched this phrase from Anne Fadiman's excellent essay, Never Do That to A Book, first published in 1995. In it, she talks about the kind of book lover who serenades a book, so to speak, treating it with a quality of respect and reg...