I was (and still am) an introvert and it took me a lot of time to come to terms with it (not that being introvert is some sort of cancer). As a child, I was not very much inclined to attend family functions or birthday parties. Books always succored me in those situations.
As I grew up, they became my escape route from the seemingly necessary obligation of socializing. The lesser time I spent with girls and booze, the more engrossed I became in reading different types of books. Being the kind of person who likes to enjoy a few hours of freedom and solitude, I invariably found solace in books. The first non-curriculum book that I read was Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan (the surreal hatred in the beginning later on transformed into a considerable love for reading).
Reading has changed my life in many ways. It has helped me enhance my English skills and overcome depression. Reading is perhaps one of the reasons why I opted for English literature in my Master’s program. Often times I used to put myself in the shoes of the protagonist (or even the antagonist in some cases) of the book I was reading, and that helped me connect better with the people around me.
It also enabled me to get away from the harsh realities of life for a while. Reading was also useful in expanding my knowledge of different subjects like history, culture, geography, law, ecology and economics, among others. It reinforced my belief in my faith, especially after I perused the works concerning the life and teachings of Lord Krishna (the Bhagwad Gita), Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, and Shiv Narayan Agnihotri. Books have always been there for me in both the darkest and happiest moments of my life.
If you’d like to tell us how you fell in love with books, or how reading transformed your life, we’re all ears.