For a very long time, I saw books only as a means of jotting down notes from and passing examinations. This was the case up until one day, when things started to take a different turn.

It all started when I was in the tenth grade. On fine day, I was discussing some clichéd stuff with my friends and one of them very merrily told us about a book she had read recently. She mentioned that she was completely mesmerized by it. The book was titled I Too Had a Love Story. Two of my other friends also happened to have read it, and their experiences had been no less fascinating.

As I would find out later, the book was a beautiful blend of awe-inspiring characters and a well-constructed plot. Romantic novels were a fad in those days. Naturally, with me being so unromantic and a sworn non-reader, it didn’t surprise anyone that I couldn’t quite relate to the genre. Personally, the idea of a book making someone cry seemed very absurd and even unbelievable to me. That said, somewhere down the line, I felt curious about the book. I wanted to see for myself if it really was as incredible as my peers had made it sound. This prompted me to borrow it from a friend.

To my utter surprise (read horror), I ended up reading it in three days. Mind you, it was the first novel that I had ever read. As I had rightly anticipated, I didn’t cry while (or after) reading it. Yet, the book somehow opened new doors for me. It was a pretty refreshing experience altogether. I felt as if I were the protagonist and the plot was revolving around me. There was no looking back from there. Books had become my escape.

I started off slowly, but it’s safe to say that I have now become an avid reader. Imagining myself in various scenarios presented in a book, and bestowing a shape and voice on its characters have become my favorite pastimes. It’s quite fascinating how one can simply be sitting at one place and yet manage to travel to faraway lands and realms. I guess this is the one magic that only books can conjure.

Every book I have read has added some value to my life. Some taught me the virtue of empathy, whereas others took me through captivating times and spaces; some taught me how to become a kinder person, whereas others taught me how to enjoy solitude with a cup of coffee. Seven years and twelve books later, I have become a completely different person now. I am someone who invests a part of her soul in every book I read. More often than not, those parts of my soul tend to stay on in the books. Well, you could say that books are kind of my Horcrux now!

To sum up, someone has quite aptly said, “I see books, I see coffee, I see a good day ahead.”

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