Nobody is born perfect. Of course, I was no exception to this golden rule. Hello, I’m Shiyam Shiva and this is the story of my love affair with books.

Up until grade six, I was a very lazy student. I would look for excuses to avoid going to classes. One could find me loitering on the school campus or by the canteen with my friends. I was the least interested in attending lectures. However, there was an hour-long window in the evening when you wouldn’t find me hanging around. No, it wasn’t like I would be in a class – not a conventional one, at least. It was time for our moral lessons, and that was where I found my new hobby.

You see, we were told stories and anecdotes from the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible. It had all actually started with a story. To her credit, even the teacher seemed quite proficient at storytelling. Everything was in place for what would be a lifelong fling. The fact that a shirker like me never missed a single lecture should tell you everything you need to know about how much I enjoyed those classes. Even my friends tagged along to see what was so great about those lessons.

After I moved to another school, I still missed attending those lectures. I eventually decided to look for a library near my place. There, I began reading comics and short stories. When my dad noticed my newfound interest in reading, he bought me five volumes of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan. These books helped me learn more about our great culture. The more I read, the higher my imagination began to soar. It was as if I had stepped into a new world, where my creative prowess came to the fore like never before. Before I knew it, books had become my best friends.

Today, at the age of eighteen, I have already read several historical books. Most of the books I read are non-academic in nature, which kind of explains the mini-library I have at home.

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