“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I have accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that is all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

These lines by late Nora Ephron are the most eloquent in expressing my love for reading, which I have developed over the years.

Being the younger sibling implied that I had an ideal in my elder brother to look up to; whatever he did had a wow factor to me. Whether it was about being rebellious or a wizard at mathematics, he had a constant admirer in me. And it was because of him that I read my first novel.

My brother had bought a couple of second-hand novels in his senior years in school (which I suspect he did under the influence of his peers). Seeing him read late at night left me awestruck; I was impressed by his audacity to read Chetan Bhagat instead of his school books! To me, it seemed like the ultimate act of being dabang and it was then that I decided to indulge myself in reading and becoming more like him.

Jeffrey Archer's 'Only Time Will Tell'

Until then, my reading capacities were limited to the curriculum-based literature books, which I definitely enjoyed reading, but never thought of taking that enjoyment beyond those books. So, when I first got my hands on my brother’s copy of Only Time Will Tell (first of the seven-part series: the Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer, I immediately started devouring it – because of its intriguing title!

How Jeffrey Archer became Delhi girl's motivation to read
Sukriti’s personal collection of Mr. Archer’s works

And hence began my love affair with reading and a life-long admiration for Jeffrey Archer, not only because he was the first author that I had read, but also because of his wonderful craft. Then, the younger me used to wonder (and it still does) that how can someone be so skillful, so adept at creating a world with such engaging characters and story arcs (by the mere use of words) that I couldn’t help but immerse myself in and ponder  over  them  for days and relate to the characters I was introduced to for the first time! It was then that it dawned on me – books are truly magical.

All the quotes about ‘books being our best friends’ and ‘a man with a good book is never alone’ and so on, started having a completely new and deep meaning for me; such was the profound effect of Mr. Archer’s work on me.

Sukriti's collection of Jeffrey Archer's works

And thereafter, I became a bibliophile, a bibliophagist (and everything biblio!) and an avid follower of Mr. Archer – his works dominating my ever-growing collection of books.

Having now perused the works of various authors and genres, I still tend to go back to Mr. Archer once in a while, for he evokes in me the precious memories of when I first began to read.

So, that was all about how SuKriti started reading! Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to share your story with all your fellow readers across the country.