Reading is a habit that caught me when I was a teeny human being full of curiosity, wonder, and a sense of not belonging anywhere. I don’t really know who the culprit was behind me getting enamored with reading: my mom, who got me those mini story books from my school fair, or my aunt, who would take me to a stationery store in the Bengali market to buy me a huge pile of books with those beautiful illustrations of princesses, candy houses and whatnot.
As I grew up, I often found myself in the school library searching for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. At that time, I was just a fifth grader! I was never short of books, and I soon found myself engrossed in the enchanting world of Nicholas Sparks‘ works – something that leaves a smile on my face whenever I look back at those days.
I feel that reading has had a major impact on my life; it was what defined me as a person; I never stuck to a genre. I moved from one book to another: from horror stories to historical fiction, from Oliver Twist to David Copperfield to Jane Eyre. Reading helped me make a connection with my school teachers. I would discuss books with them, and our bond grew deeper with every such discussion.
There are many people who recommend reading as a healthy habit, just like they advocate exercising, eating healthy, etc. However, for me, reading had never been about something; it was just my relationship with books, one in which I could imagine different characters in different places and get a chance to get involved in their thoughts and actions. I realized that, somehow, every new word I came across had some meaning to me, and over time, I rarely needed to look up its meaning in the dictionary. Somehow, reading sparked the imagination of the writer in me, which served as an outlet to all my abstract thoughts and obscure feelings that sometimes got penned down as poems or prose.
After joining college, reading took a back seat. College was a world in its own, and that did have an adverse effect on my concentration. Initially, I found it hard to focus. However, slowly, I found my way back to books – or, should I say, books found their way back to me. Perhaps we had never lost each other, just like two best friends who don’t lose any of their intimacy or trust regardless of whether they have been in touch or not.
That was a fairly unique but interesting story. If you’d like to know more, feel free to get in touch with Kshirobdi over her Instagram handle here. If her journey in the world of books inspired you to tell us about yours, we’re all ears.