I spent my entire childhood in small villages. I always felt the urge to compete with and surpass my cousins, all of whom had grown up in cities. That was when it, or rather they happened. Books and poetry entered my life and had a profound impact on it.

In the beginning, it was all about school textbooks. As time passed, I transitioned to reading the stories published in newspapers. In retrospect, it’s hard to say whether I chose to read them or they chose to be read by me. They had soon become my friends and guide. They did not just improve and refine my language skills, but also my thought process, thus taking me on a fascinating ride to an unknown world that was beautiful, vivid and enchanting in equal measure. Around the same time, we moved to another village, where the school library proved to be a pleasant surprise for me. This unexpected change opened the doors to a world full of the works of hitherto unknown authors.

As years passed by, it was now time for college. New friends and even newer books kept me good company throughout my college life. However, it was only after completing my college studies that I met my best friend Minal, who was a bookworm like none other. She initiated me into the joys of reading English books. Together, we explored several new books… and we are not done yet.

With the advent of technology, eBooks have become an inseparable part of my monthly dose of books and literature. However, nothing quite beats the fragrance of a new paperback (or hardcover).

I hope to pass on the baton of this tradition of reading to my next generation, for it won’t be an understatement to say that books have played a huge role in making me the person I am today.

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