I am a late bloomer when it comes to reading. It wasn’t until my 10th grade that I started reading a novel. It’s sort of funny when I think about it because I have always loved libraries. The smell of old books and the faintly lit corners of my school library used to lure me when I didn’t feel like attending math classes. If I had to bunk a class in school, I’d just go there and talk nonsense with the librarian or rearrange the books which the students oh so carelessly used to throw away. I always hated that.
I should have known that someday I’d start reading books because it’s in my blood. I can’t name one Agatha Christie’s novel which my mother hasn’t already read or any book from the Nancy Drew series which my grandmother hasn’t devoured. See, books flow in my veins and soon after my 10th board exams, I was bitten by the ‘book bug’.
I have no shame in telling you guys (well, maybe a little) that the first novel I ever read was One Night @ Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. If it makes you feel a bit happy, I cringed after reading it. I guess Chetan Bhagat is an author who made my generation start reading novels. Honestly, I think that his works are not that bad to start off your reading habit with. It’s kind of a warm up.
Aah well, as I have already confessed about my first novel, let me also disclose that after going through that ‘Chetan Bhagat phase’, I started reading the entire Secret Seven, The Naughtiest Girl, and Famous Five series. There, I said it! The kind of books which children read at an age seven or eight, I read them at the age of 14 (Judging not allowed!) At least I can’t say that I haven’t read them, can I? I strongly believe in the saying, ‘Better late than never.’
I am glad that soon I started reading the works of authors like Sidney Sheldon, Paulo Coelho, Anuja Chauhan, and J.D Salinger. It’s all about growing up, isn’t it? Also, might I add, I have finished the entire ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth. Before you wonder what’s the big deal about it and why I am showing off, let me inform you that this book is one of the longest novels (1488 pages) ever published in a single volume in the English language. I am quite proud of this achievement of mine and why shouldn’t I be because I was just 16 years old when I read it.
I have come across a few people who have told me repeatedly that I am only wasting my time by reading books and should do something worthwhile. Well, I don’t talk to them anymore. Reading is the best gift mankind has given to itself. I believe that it is important for each and every individual to read books. They open a whole new world and you come across so many things and learn so much, regardless of the genre. It doesn’t matter what genre you are into, read fiction, chick-lit or non-fiction. Even if you like a magazine or Mills & Boons, just read it. It’s all about reading and growing.
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