Books came into my life when everything else looked pretty gloomy. It was the Lockdown and my family had to move back to our hometown. Things weren’t exactly smooth. Amid so much uncertainty, I instinctively turned to books.

As a kid, I used to think of reading as a very beautiful habit. However, that was all there was to it – I didn’t really read myself. Looking back, I’m not sure how I spent those years without reading. It has become a need of sorts for me, kind of like oxygen. Too dramatic, eh? Well, maybe yes, but books really have become an essential part of my life. There’s just something about ink on paper, the smell of new books, the villain falling for the girl, and all those clichéd things that most people look down on these days, that make books so special.

The first book I read was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The story profoundly impacted me. I found comfort in knowing that Jo eventually got her happy ending.

Some of my favorite books are Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End, and Lancali’s I Fell in Love with Hope. The list could go on forever, so I should probably stop now. But it’s not about the books, is it? It is about the stories we feel. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read hundreds of books if you didn’t feel the words in them.

Meenakshi Karn story

I have always been the person to fall in love with others’ love stories. After reading so many romance novels, I developed a fear. I know it’s an irrational one since I’m still quite young, but I sometimes do worry what if I am never loved like the girls in the books I have read. That is okay, I guess. There is this Kate Stewart quote that has stayed with me since I read it ages ago:

My greatest hope is to be in all-consuming love. My biggest fear is to be in an all-consuming love.

Ever since I began reading, I have learned to see the world from a different perspective. I have experienced feelings that were hitherto unknown to me. Yes, I did write poems long before I started reading, but books have enriched the quality of those poems.

I would like to sum up my story with an advice to all the overthinking readers out there. Well, I know it’s hard. I know it may feel like you don’t belong, but if you just keep at it, I promise things will change for the better. Just believe in yourself and never give up. And as long as you can do that, everything else will take care of itself.


Follow Meenakshi on Instagram to know more about her evolution as a reader.

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