My first actual ‘book’ was ‘Seven On An Adventure’ By Enid Blyton. Perhaps it was the fact that it involved kids doing something extraordinary and adventurous that made me love the book. To this day, I remember vividly how the cover looked, all orange and having an exciting picture on the front. Maybe this first book is the reason I love mysteries and detection so much now.
I started reading Enid Blyton’s books voraciously. I was six at the time. I was (and I still am) so thrilled by how books, how stories could take us to whole new worlds and paint pictures with our imaginations. Needless to say, my vocabulary began to expand as quickly as Alice did when she ate the currant cake. 🙂
Books gave me the freedom to think, and helped me dare to believe. Fiction is often not realistic, but why should it be? By the time I was nine or ten, I was carrying a book everywhere with me, and my family had decided that I was a bookworm with her nose always buried in some book or the other. Even when I was at a social gathering, I would eventually become bored and delve into another interesting story.
I started writing my first verses (they weren’t sophisticated enough to be called poetry) when I was ten. By the time I was twelve, I knew I was going to be a writer. I didn’t just want to become one – I knew I was going to be one. That conviction has always stayed with me, and it is one of the few things I cannot doubt or be unsure of.
As I grew older, stories not only kept my imagination a-ticking and active, but also made me fall in love with words and figures of speech – metaphors, alliteration etc. I started to love learning new words, and delighted in incorporating them into daily conversations. A strong command on the language made me confident, and covered up for when I was not.
Obviously, English became one of my favourite subjects at school, because what was it but learning new stories and how to interpret them, after all? I became a persistent stickler for proper grammar, a trait that sticks out a mile even now. Composition assignments were like fun challenges to crack, and my attitude towards them was always ‘bring ’em on’! 🙂
There were so many characters that were like role models to me. When I was ten or eleven, I couldn’t wait to become eighteen so that I could solve cases like Nancy Drew. When I was fifteen, I could completely relate to Harry Potter in the fifth book – how he came to terms with the world… As I grew older, I began to like, appreciate, and write poetry. ‘The Ballad Of Father Gilligan’, ‘The Road Not Taken’, ‘The Listeners’, etc are still some of my favourites.
Almost everything I am now was somehow influenced by the stories, the books I read. Books make me patient, empathetic, creative, and willing to look deeper into things.
Aren’t books the ultimate companions? They don’t care when you pick them up, and when you put them down; they’ll always be where you last left them, they lift your mood and take you to a thousand different places just by what they say. They make you feel, love, laugh, cry and think.
Reading is a form of escape. Running for your life is another. 😉 – Lemony Snicket