I have been quite fond of reading stories since forever. Reading kind of sends me into a trance, and I quite enjoy being in that space. After all, what better escape could there possibly be for an introvert like me?

I suppose it all started with kids’ magazines. During my childhood days, it wasn’t that rare a sight to see me eat with one hand and read a Chandamama or a Chacha Chaudhary comic with the other. I would never get bored of those comics, no matter how many times I read them. The mere thought of those days still makes me nostalgic.

Contrary to what one might expect from a fifth grader, my love for books wasn’t confined to comics. Out of my fascination for stories, I would often read through a chapter in my Hindi book well before the teacher had even started it.

Novels came into my life when I was fourteen. My sister got me my first two novels – Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars – both of which were authored by John Green. I was quite skeptical at first. Going through a five-page story was one thing, and reading a 300-hundred page novel was quite another!

Anyways, I cast aside my apprehensions to start reading The Fault in our Stars. The more I read, the more engrossed I became. I could almost feel the book and every emotion it evoked. Reading it for the first time brought tears to my eyes. It felt like watching a movie, only the pages of the book were the screen on which all the action was unfolding.

Shivam started reading novels at the age of 14

I ended up reading the book in one sitting. And, even after I was done reading it, I spent a good fifteen minutes simply reflecting on it. Something in me felt different after that experience. I felt amazed at how a book could take me away to an altogether unknown world. There was no looking back from there.

Sitting on a window sill with a book in my hand and losing my way in its enchanting plot still remains my favorite pastime. I feel that every book is a journey in itself. Every time I finish a book, I am compelled to think. That’s what a good book does to you. It helps you become a more thoughtful person.


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