Reading is to mind what exercise is to body; a good book strengthens our intellect just like a sound workout does wonders for our physique. Well, at least this is what our elders claim. As a teenager growing up in a big city, I was having none of it. That is, until I came across the book that would change my life.

Cities have well-organized libraries and book stalls, but most of us would prefer gaming zones to those any day. I wasn’t the most far-sighted young boy. But all that changed after I finished high school. Well, not completely — I decided to pursue a career in gaming. On the day of my college admission, I lost my way out and ran into this girl. She dropped a book and didn’t even stop to pick it up. Confused, I grabbed it. It was Stephen Hawking’s The Theory of Everything. As I would find later, the book was about the universe. What had started as a tentative read soon became an irrepressible curiosity about the cosmos. So, instead of locating the mystery girl to give her book back, I decided to focus on the book itself.

I even went to the library and checked out similar books. And, ladies and gentlemen, that was my official initiation as a reader. It had an instant impact on my personality, lifestyle, and thought process, not to mention my career. Stephen Hawking’s The Brief History of Time and Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry made me a more career-oriented person. Arguably the biggest conscious decision I made was to read before going to bed every night. This brought a massive improvement in my focus and sleep cycle. My vocabulary also got a significant boost. My upgraded command of English meant that my stage fear was a thing of the past, prompting me to take part in more seminars and conferences. I started writing short stories, which gave me a lasting sense of fulfillment.

So, that’s it for the story of someone who decided to change careers from a game developer to an aerospace engineer. I would like to sum up with a classy George R.R. Martin quote:

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.


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