I owe my love for books to a household that was fond of reading. As far as I can remember, I have had an innate fascination for books. I could spend the entire day at a library or a bookstore, not reading, but browsing through and admiring the colorful book covers and titles.

As I grew a little older, mountaineering drew my attention. I enjoyed climbing huge mountains and savoring the beauty of the nature. Throughout my journey as a mountaineer, books helped me focus on my goal. Even in the hills, I would spend my leisure hours reading one book or the other.

I am particularly interested in books about survival. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is one of my all-time favorites. This book drives home the importance of love, hope, responsibility, inner freedom, and the beauty to be found in both nature and art as a means to help one endure and overcome harrowing experiences.

My parents believed that education was the key to success. Being the obedient child that I was, I did just that. However, there was a catch. While my parents wanted me to read my schoolbooks, I chose to read anything but. In fact, I would eagerly look forward to the weekend visits to the bookstore with my father. These visits came like an opportunity for me to explore the mysterious world of stories that could only exist in a person’s imagination. I would read whatever I could lay my hands on – comics, short stories, and picture books.

Growing up in the pre-Google era, books were the only readily available source of knowledge and information. Today, it is hard to imagine someone picking up a dictionary, an atlas, or an encyclopedia just because they are bored. Well, it was a norm back then. We even played games to prove our superior factual knowledge.

I recently read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The book talks about how money can be a tool for building wealth. It comprehensively destroys the myth that the rich are born rich. It explains why our personal residence may not really be the asset we think it is, while describing the real difference between an asset and a liability.

I sincerely feel that a writer cannot become a good writer and a good writer cannot become a better writer unless they read. It is my reading habits that have taught me to eloquently express my thoughts in words. And even as we increasingly depend on the digital means of information, I still prefer to chill with a cup of hot chai and a book.


Follow Abir on Instagram to learn more about his fling with mountains and books.

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