During the season of clear blue skies, the ten-year-old me was enjoying myself like any other mundane student would during the summers. Waking up later than usual and having amma serve my favorite breakfast are some of the many memories I still cherish of my summer vacation.

That said, it wasn’t the best of times for my parents, who had become increasingly concerned with me binge-watching TV all day. Once my father decided that he had had enough, he took me to the nearby library for the first time. As I walked between the bookshelves, the Thea Stilton books were among the first things to catch my eye. I remember being so fascinated by the unique font and the cartoons that adorned every page that I at once told my father that those were the books I wanted to read. Not long after, my overjoyed father had gotten me my first library membership card.

I took an instant liking to the Thea Stilton series. I was so engrossed in the series that I read it even during my class hours. The adventures and mysteries of the five Thea sisters amazed me to no end. It did not take me long to finish reading every single book in the collection.

The next series I chose to read was, of course, Harry Potter. As fun and interesting as the Thea Stilton books were, they didn’t really have any lasting impact on my life. And that is where Harry Potter made a massive, massive difference. In fact, some lines in the series continue to inspire me to date. Some of them are:

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.

Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.

Professor Severus Snape has to be my favorite character, for he was largely misunderstood throughout his life and never really cherished whatever was rightly his because it all ended up being taken away from him. I found the series incredibly motivating, one of those books that gives you the courage to get through life’s darkest phases.

From fantasy fiction, I would later switch to the famous Agatha Christie crime novels. Specifically, her Poirot series. The first Christie book I read was Murder on the Orient Express, which had left me stunned and awestruck in equal measure.

I have recently developed an interest in romance novels. Trying a new genre every now and then feels quite refreshing. That said, fantasy and crime fiction remain my favorite genres. Regardless of the genre, every book I read make me a more avid reader. For me, books have been a blessing in more ways than one.

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