At a time when, fortunately, our parents offered us a very restricted, if at all any, access to mobile phoContentnes, and soap operas mainly catered to the saas and bahus (read cheesy family dramas), we had no option but to look for other modes of entertainment. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon my school library, which had a decent collection of books on a wide range of subjects. I remember how I randomly picked up a Nancy Drew book, read the blurb and found it so interesting that, in spite of being a sixth grader, ended up reading it in one day. This episode brought about a great change in not just me, but also in my like-minded friends; we would all eagerly look forward to the library period, for it offered us the chance to rummage around the entire library in just one hour to get hold of other book series. Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and The Famous Five; a year down the line, we had read every single book that these memorable series had on offer.

As I grew up, I began reading the classics of Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon. Their novels not only provided an element of thrill, but also satisfied the curiosity of a teenager’s mind that was constantly at war with her raging hormones. There were times when I would bunk classes and give up on my precious sleep for a couple of days just because I couldn’t bring myself to put down their page turners. During my college days, I came across the critically acclaimed novel Fifty Shades of Grey. I have since been so captivated by the book that I have read it four times to date, and I still don’t feel bored of it. The intricate details presented in the book are nearly impossible to recreate or replicate on screen.

That being said, I wasn’t just confined to fiction; I also found myself naturally gravitating toward books that were related to my curriculum, in addition to self-help novels. I feel that a true book lover cannot bear to be restricted to one particular genre. Reading as a habit is so adventurous that you can pick up any book that you find appealing and, the next thing you know, you’re so inside the story that you lose track of what is happening around you, or, in some cases, it might actually help you become more aware of what exactly is happening around you.

While, of course, I wasn’t familiar with the long-term benefits of reading, it seems obvious in hindsight that it helped me become a better person. I feel that I have decent speaking and writing skills; I am blessed with a vivid imagination. I have my own set of opinions and beliefs about everything and I don’t believe in blindly following the crowd. All these abilities served to transform me into a truly confident individual, one who is better equipped than most people to take on the world.

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