I sometimes ponder as to what kind of a person I would have been had I not been such a reading addict since childhood. Its not a very pretty picture, believe me. I am one of those people who believe that you are what you read, one of those people who like the smell of fresh crisp pages of a new book and the rustic one of an old book, one of those who’d prefer reading a novel over watching a movie any day.
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. Indeed.
I think the moment I was out of the “toddlerism”, I was into books! It all started with the Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel stories and continued to the Alice in wonderland and Pinocchio and Noddy ones. I could never get enough of them. I devoured them.
Enid Blyton was my savior in my early school days. She was my God back then. Whilst all the kids around were watching cartoons, my nose would be deep in The Famous Five and Secret Seven books. Their adventures took me to another dreamy land of my own. On getting back from school and inquiring mum about the lunch, I would expect mom to give me fancy names like jam tarts, ham, sardine sandwiches and ginger beer, and would be disappointed to get the regular stuff.
Then entered Mademoiselle Nancy Drew. Oh boy! She and her mustang and her mysteries would send me spiraling to another world altogether. I have sweet memories with Sweet Valley High and Chicken soup too. Then came the hostel life phase. Malory Towers, St. Clare’s, The naughtiest girl series. I had read them one and all. R.L Stine's novels and Hardy boys I would finish on an hourly basis and switch to the next. Life was on a roll. I didn't need anything but my books. My ultimate dream would be to make a huge walk in library of my own.
When teenage hit me, I was happily consuming Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Robin Cook, Danielle Steele, Ayn Rand and Harry Potter books. Nicholas Sparks and Cecilia Ahern books would trigger the romantic side i never knew existed in me.
Now when I think of all the books I grew up with I get nostalgic. I also realize what an indiscriminate and voracious reader I was back then. Unfortunately, now I am more picky about what I read. The reviews have to be nice, the author has to be good. I have read some great novels the picky way but i still wish i had the capacity to read indiscriminately even now.
I remember when exams approached us, mom would lock our mini library but my sister and i just couldn't be stopped. We would manage to steal a book or two from elsewhere. We’d sit in the bathroom for hours on the pretext of shitting and bathing while we were actually reading the book! At night, we would lie down on the floor and read in the tail light so that mom wouldn't notice we were up!
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green
Its like this man entered my thoughts and spoke for me! When i read a novel, i am oblivious of everything around me. I’m walking in a haze, mesmerized and spellbound, looking at everything through a different prism.
I actually feel sad for those who don’t read. They don’t know what they are missing out on. When you read you can make your imagination fly!
All in all, i think i would've been a completely different personality if it were not for all the books that i have read.I can’t possibly be eloquent about how much I love reading, so I’ll just stop here.