‌I belong to a small town in Madhya Pradesh, in the heart of India. Since my childhood days, I was always intrigued by stories. However, I was not much of a reader back then.  I enjoyed listening to stories but reading wasn’t my cup of tea.

As I grew up, I developed an interest in English literature. It had always fascinated me to no end. While pursuing my graduation, I had already decided to go for a master’s in English literature. But, before that, I wanted to test myself as to whether I’d really be able to make it happen or not. That’s what prompted me to buy around ten novels and start reading them.

Himani Aggarwal with her favorite book

The first novel – or an out-of-syllabus book, for that matter – that I ever read was The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It was quite an enlightening experience. That was my cue to keep reading. Within five months, I had gone through the ten-odd novels I had purchased. And that’s when I finally decided to have a go at the master’s degree.

As a part of my syllabus, I read William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer and Francis Bacon. I was pleased to see how intimately and intricately literature is connected with and affects our daily lives; the way we read stories that were once part of an era and, to some extent, that still are relevant to the age we live in. Take, for instance, the series of essays written by Bacon. Even today, they hold the key to a happy life as much as they did about five centuries ago.

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Reading proved to be a turning point in my life, and that’s the reason why I urge people to do so too. Developing and fostering a reading habit is the best gift you can give to yourself. Sustaining that habit won’t be a problem as you may rest assured that books will take care of that.

My friends often call me a bookworm, and, of course, I wear it as a badge of honor. In the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma talked about Nirvana. I say it is right there, inside a book. All you have to do is take a good one up and let it transport you to world of matchless emotions. Books, I feel, are as effective as, if not more than, meditation for a distressed mind. After all, they help you connect with your inner-self.

From being a child who shied away from books, I now find myself on the other side of the fence. The next time someone asks you quixotic questions like where heaven is, just give them a book.

Thank you, Himani! That was an interesting read. We wish you the best of luck for your English exams.

If you found Himani’s story interesting and would like to know more, feel free to reach out to her over her Blogspot or Facebook. If you have a similar story to tell, we’d be more than willing to listen.

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