Growing up in rural West Bengal, we didn’t have much to do. As a child, I was always sickly and wasn’t really good at sports. I spent most of my time at home. I always enjoyed listening to my mother’s stories, which ranged from local tales to epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

As I grew up and we moved to the city, I was fortunate to have the Central Library just a couple of minutes away. Although I was extremely shy, my cousin and I mustered up enough courage to get in. Surprisingly, the people were nice and encouraging. Before I knew it, the Library had become my favorite place. In those times, the Internet was rather slow, but I was patient enough to spend half an hour waiting to download an e-book. That was how my affair with literature began.

Most, if not all, of my proficiency in English came from the books I read. They helped me learn to express myself and interact with the people I otherwise could have never talked to. The Internet helped me connect with like-minded individuals who enjoyed books regardless of their genre. I made a lot of great friends. Fast-forward ten years and today I’m pursuing an Honors degree in English Literature from a reputed university. My parents weren’t really happy with my career choice, for they wanted me to pursue a technical degree. However, I just am not designed to do something I am not interested in. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to get a degree for reading books?

This was how my journey as a reader started. What about yours?


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