Coming from the research field, I was always destined to be a bookworm. Reading those voluminous curriculum books was an undeniable part of my routine. I was completely focused on reading those books for the sake of getting good grades.

I still remember that fateful day when, years ago, the CBSE policy was revised to introduce a novel into our curriculum. We could literally count on the fingers of one hand the days left for our examination. Even our teacher was under pressure to drum the entire novel into us. Supplementary lectures were arranged and we had a day-long English lecture aimed at rounding off the course.

As fate would have it, heavy rain ensured that the class was attended by a not-so-encouraging number of students. The stage seemed set for a long and wearying day ahead. However, as our teacher started narrating the novel, the words came alive in my mind and the plot started unfolding right in front of my eyes. It was as though the author could control my mind and give me a free ride into his imagination!

The novel was none other than Gulliver’s Travels. The story was so engaging that it felt as if I were in the middle of that enchanting island. I was so captivated by the storyline that not only did I patiently listen to the teacher, but also ended up reading the novel countless times. And never was I disappointed by the author, Jonathan Swift, as every read evoked a new sense of excitement in me. But that was not it. The best part was the more I read it, the more people I ended up narrating it to.

Reading remained an important part of Minakshi Singh's life even after her school life

Days passed and school life was soon over. I had plenty of time at my disposal and was no longer bound by the obligation to read any curriculum books.

Now, history had always been a subject of interest to me, and so were our leaders. India’s independence movement has long been looked at as an example for the rest of the world. Most of us can relate to any of those freedom fighters, so much so that we start putting ourselves in their shoes. Moreover, reading also helps one stand out from the crowd. I feel that I owe a major part of my present leadership skills to my reading habits.

Being an introvert by nature, books were my most loyal companions. Reading also had a positive impact on my interpersonal skills. The best part about them is that they give you everything and demand nothing in return. Read properly, books can help us forge a rock-solid personality.

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