My heart feels nostalgic as I walk down the memory lane and reminisce about how my love affair with books began. To date, I’m not sure what endears books to me – is it the colorful pictures or that unique smell only a book can have? Whatever it is, I know I was in love with reading every time I got my hands on a new book.

I was in sixth grade when I first came across the tiny library at school. While the library didn’t really offer much choice, the fairy tales I got to read in there kept me hooked. In fact, I read the same fairy tales over and over again! Growing up, my passion for reading became an outlet for my creativity; it set me free in a way.

Back then, I was really into literary fiction. My teenage years saw me explore many a new story. Today, I am a more mature reader, one who can read between the lines and connect the dots. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed over these years is the excitement books bring about in me.

While I have forayed into multiple genres, historical fiction, paranormal romance, thriller, autobiography, mystery, memoir and poetry are the ones I enjoy the most. Ruskin Bond still remains my favorite Indian author by far. I was quite young when I encountered his books, and as we all know, first love is something special. Oh, I am still into fables, by the way. The way mythical creatures and inanimate objects are shown to have human traits is an absolute treat for my imagination. As hilarious as it might sound, the best thing about reading fairy tales is that it both feeds my imagination and helps me deal with my insomnia.

My interest in reading evolved into one in writing as well. And writing has not only helped me enhance my creative skills, but has also worked as an outlet for my emotions.

Maria Rudy story

It was the summer of 2020. My world was in turmoil, and Wuthering Heights came to my rescue. I remember having endless conversations with its characters. The book itself was quite a riveting read. I flipped through its pages, desperately hoping it wouldn’t end on a tragic note. The first year of the pandemic and the resulting lockdown actually gave an all new dimension to my affair with books.

To sum up, I’d like to remind all the bibliophiles out there how fortunate we are to live in a parallel world, one where we can reach with the mere fragrance of books.


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