My tryst with books began when I was 8 years old, during a vacation when I accidentally stumbled upon my older sister’s English book. I was bored and had no one to play with, which led me to coming across Oliver Twist. Together with it, I conspired to kill my boredom. I had been reading much before I took up Oliver Twist. However, those were nothing but fairy tales like Cinderella.

I was surprised at how time flew by, and I was enthralled by the idea of being able to simultaneously live in two different worlds! Being a quiet and reclusive child, I didn’t have a lot of friends to play with, and I always felt bad about it, preferring to be left alone. I used to have a really hard time as my parents were busy with their work and my sister with her studies. I eventually ended up having nightmares of being left isolated and neglected in some dark corner.

Maya's favorite books

Being as busy as they were, we seldom went for any trips during my vacations. To make up for it, they bought us dozens of books. They had also discerned how forlorn I felt. However, it mattered little once I got into reading Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, which introduced me to my best friends Darrell and Sally. Of course, I was an ardent fan of Harry Potter, and would bawl my eyes out whenever my favorite characters were killed.

The most amazing thing was that, because of books, my reclusive attitude had already begun to change and I was slowly becoming more and more eloquent. I found it easy to communicate with others and I finally realized that I could also make friends. I started socializing and soon had no fear of bringing myself to do things. Books changed my view of the world, of people and made me focus on the good things in life. I realized that it was okay to make mistakes.

Suggested Read: Ameya’s review of Keigo Higashino’s ‘Salvation of a Saint’

After completing school, I couldn’t read much as my college life kept me really busy, so much so that I could barely tell the last book I had read. Things started going downhill, and (once again) I found myself sinking into a depression at the start of this year. College life was extremely stressful for me and all those dark memories and negative thoughts came flooding back.

Yet again, I found solace in books, picking up from where I had left and found the calling of my first love. Yes, I’ve started reading again. This time it is Agatha Christie, an author who had never ceased to amaze me (she probably never will) and always left me awestruck. Books are always there for me even if I turn my back on them, like a loyal friend, an eternal companion I can bank on. Books are always there to rescue me… they are my saviors, my black knights in a shining armor!

That was an excellent read, Maya! We’re glad books have helped you go from strength to strength in life, and we hope that you would never ever turn your back on them.

If books have had any impact in changing your life for the better, we’d like to share it with our fellow readers. Please feel free to reach out to us here.