The first book I read all by myself, was an abridged version of ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling; it was a Disney edition, filled with pictures from the Disney animated film. I strangely also remember my apprehension when my mom (with the kind of wisdom moms just happen to have) refused to help me read anymore, and told me that I had to go ahead myself.
The fear of reading a word wrongly made me anxious, but I went through that book with few mistakes. I can still feel myself trying to hide my pride at having read my first book. That was just the first in endless others.
Reading became my happy place. I didn’t have siblings, so when toys began boring me, I turned to books for companionship, and they took me into their warm, assuring world. It was wonderful. My school library became my favourite place, and the librarians my allies – they began suggesting new books, new genres to me, and I went deeper into the literary ocean. While my friends found it hard to sit through the library period without talking, I ended up trying to find a corner where I could just begin reading a new book without disturbances.
I was a voracious reader all through school, and through most of college. It was during post graduation when I began faltering and couldn’t take time out to read as much as I used to. I’m trying very hard to regain the habit now (though I guess the beginning of a working life might not be the best time to achieve that).
When it comes to buying books, I tend to buy books only when I’m very sure that it’s a book I will love and cherish for all my life; I’d rather borrow a book, read it and make sure of my love for it before I buy it. Which is why my book collection has mostly only my favourites (a few are impulsive buys too).
My mom tells me if I buy any more books, I should contemplate sleeping outside the house so that the books may have some space inside the house. “There’s space for either you or the books in here!” (and she’s kind of right obviously). But when led into a bookstore, she’s just as much excited as I am, and adding to the pile as fast as my dad or me. We’re a family of bibliophiles y’know?
And maybe that’s where my love of books started – my family. And it has continued gloriously, making my life a more wonderful one.
(I expressed my love for books in another post long back…here.)