Back when I was a kid, I used to go to boarding school. Those were the days when the only books I read were my textbooks, and even that wasn’t something I did of my own volition. Honestly, I never subscribed to the idea of reading. I didn’t even like children’s books. This dislike would later extend to novels. Growing up, I was totally convinced that I would never read any novels because they were so boring.

One summer evening, I came across this book in a dark cover. It was Harry Potter. At the time, I didn’t even know that J.K. Rowling was a female author!

Anyways, the book belonged to my friend. She asked me if I wanted to give it a shot. Well, I obviously turned down the offer. Coincidentally, I had a sprain, so I was all by myself on the stairs while everyone else played to their heart’s content. With nothing else to do, I decided to take a closer look at the book, and I’m so glad I did. I read through the first chapter. By the point playtime was over, I had read just about enough to be hooked on the story. I just couldn’t help reading any further. It felt so magical and addictive that the more I read, the more I wanted to read.

Soon, I was carrying the book everywhere I went. You see, we were not supposed to read non-curriculum books during our classes or take them to the dormitory, yet I did. I finished it in a day, and eagerly looked forward to the second part. This longing lasted for a year. I was dying to know what came next. The wait was excruciating! I would talk about it with anyone who was willing to listen to the amazing story I had just read. I also felt guilty for having judged the book without reading it first.

The next year, we heard about a girl who had the second and third installments. My friend knew that I desperately wanted to get my hands on the second part, so she offered to borrow it for me. As expected, I couldn’t help reading it at school.

Around the same time, our school announced the COVID vacation. Come September, I got the whole set as a gift from a friend. I was on cloud nine. However, my parents being as strict as they were, I couldn’t bring myself to tell them it was a gift from a friend. I told them that she had sent me the wrong parcel. Over the next few days, I learned to read silently, even if my mind was buzzing with a thousand questions. I also made the most of every opportunity I got to read. For instance, winters would see me sleep in the same room as where the book set was. I would slowly pull out the third part and continue reading it late into the night.

But all good things come to an end. My mother soon learned that I wasn’t studying my school books but rather random novels. She was incensed. It was embarrassing, but I just couldn’t help it. Reading had felt so liberating! I cautiously proceeded with the last two parts, sometimes reading in the bathroom while on other instances making the most of their absence. Well, I have read them thrice so far!

All in all, I’m really happy I started reading, for books have made my life so much more interesting.


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