I grew up watching my sister glued to books. It didn’t matter if she was having dinner or, well, going to the loo. She was a child prodigy, to be honest. She made her first attempt at writing a novel at just eleven years old! While one might be tempted to think that it was under her influence that I started reading, that really wasn’t the case. We had a rather bittersweet relationship, one in which I typically avoided doing anything she did because I didn’t want to be a copycat. I was petty, but in my defense, I was just a kid, so I was entitled to be immature like all kids are.
Coming back to my sister, she always spent her pocket money on books. It was one such book that caught my attention. It was Kiera Cass’ The Selection. Curious, I asked my sister what the book was about.
‘Read and find out for yourself,’ she replied.
I didn’t actually care if it was a challenge or not. If anything, her words had fueled my curiosity further. I was especially curious about two things: first, the contents themselves, and second, what it was about these books that my sister spent all her time and money on them.
Now, I must admit that I didn’t start reading with very high expectations, but boy, I couldn’t have been more mistaken! I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading. It was magical. The vivid descriptions transported me to hitherto unknown worlds. I actually felt like the protagonist herself! So hooked was I that the book was over before I knew it. Yes, just like that! Well, the story had just begun, but the book had come to an abrupt end.
‘I read it, but it’s incomplete!’ I complained.
‘Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that it’s the first book in a series,’ she said matter-of-factly.
I felt like yelling at her. ‘You should’ve told me beforehand what I was getting into!’
What I said instead took me by surprise. ‘So, where’s the second part?’
‘Oh, that? I’m yet to buy it,’ she replied wryly.
‘When do you plan on getting it, then?’ I inquired.
‘I think I’m going to get another series before that. And that would need about six months’ pocket money, so yeah, probably after that.’
She couldn’t be serious! No way I could wait for that long.
I checked the second book’s price on a website. As heart-breaking and unimaginable as it was for me to dish out money on a book, there I was, on the verge of actually buying one. But it wasn’t like I had a choice. Ever since I had put down the first book, all I could think about was what happened next.
The book couldn’t have arrived sooner. Unsurprisingly, it took me just a couple of days to finish it. As is often the case with a riveting series, the second book left me more curious than the first one had. I simply had to order the third book, which I finished in a day and a half. Just in case it isn’t obvious at this point, I also went ahead and purchased the last two installments. And all this time, I had unknowingly developed a love-hate relationship with the author.
Yes, so what if I enjoyed her books? Not only had she made me spend my pocket money on her books, she had turned me into my sister. It wasn’t like I hated my sister or anything, but being like her had its own ramifications. You remember the thing I said about her carrying a book even when she went to answer nature’s call? Well, by this point, I was no different. I had an even harder time finding another good book to read. That series had already set the bar so high.
Today, eight years after I read The Selection series, the books I read are mostly dictated by work-related requirements. That said, penning down this story sure did remind me of the satisfaction a good fiction novel (or series, as was the case with me) can give.
A NOTE TO OUR READERS
Apart from a nostalgic reader, Srushti is also a passionate artist. Check out her Instagram profile here to know more about her creative genius.
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