The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

Oscar Wilde

This quote has a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons. One, it comes from Oscar Wilde, an author par excellence known for his subtle, eloquent thoughts. And two, it is about books – our only true friends.

My memories of books go back to the year 2008, when I was only four years old. Every night, I would ask my mother to read me a bedtime story. Gradually, I started reading the cartoon strips in the Sunday newspaper. I also remember my father getting me a pile of children’s story books from the world-famous ABC Chowk in Pune. These books would then keep me company throughout my summer vacation. Since both my parents happen to be teachers, books always held a significant place in my life.

In school, when we were allowed to borrow books from the library, I remember kids fighting over who would get to read the next edition of Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, or my all-time favorite collection of the The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I would read them during my leisure time, over the recess and even in the school bus sometimes. It isn’t such a common sight these days. And I don’t think the students are the ones to be blamed for this. The burden of school education in India hardly leaves them with any time to explore new topics beyond their textbooks. As far as I am concerned, I owe the bulk of my knowledge to the non-curriculum books I read. I strongly believe that one should look to explore different literary genres as it helps us with our all-round growth in both our personal and professional lives.

In addition to books, I also developed a habit of reading poems. Over time, I even began writing poetry!

I also began keeping a journal, besides writing blogs. I was also a silent reader on Quora for nearly four years, though I never had the courage to start making any contributions as a writer. That was until when one of my close friends suggested me to start writing on the Internet and look for a platform for the same.

For an introvert like me, writing became an effective outlet for my feelings. I would rather express myself by writing something down than by speaking about it. To give an example, when I wanted to tell my parents how much I loved them, I wrote them a two-page-long essay hoping that they would burst into laughter. Instead, it made them emotional. That is the power of written speech. And where did I get that power from? From books, of course!

Whenever I say that I want to be a writer, I am often asked what I would like to write about. People think that I am joking, but deep down, I know that all I’m looking to do is share my thoughts, views and knowledge with my friends out there. And I owe it all to the books I read.


Saee is as passionate about writing as she is about reading. Check out her Quora handle and blog here.

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