A thousand splendid books

– Aishwarya Reddy

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as we spent with a favourite book.”   – Anonymous

I started reading as a grudging 6-year-old whose mother refused to read her the rest of the Harry Potter book just as it had gotten interesting. I tried conning her into reading it for me but in the end, even tears wouldn’t work on her. I struggled for the first 50 pages and almost gave up on the 3rd but Harry’s adventures and mom’s stubborness was enough  to make me continue. I was forced into the habit which now can keep me occupied for days together and when mom gets irritated to find my nose buried in a book all the time, she knows she can’t blame me for it.

I prefer reading fiction as I consider reading as my way out of the real world. Hence, there is no point in reading non-fiction if you want to get away from reality. My favourite fiction and non-fiction books would be “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Gone With The Wind” respectively. I liked “The Diary of Anne Frank” as it not only gave me my first insight into the Holocaust and what the Jews went through at that point in history but also because I could relate to Anne on a basic level as she tells us her emotions and feeling which almost every girl goes through at that age. “Go” encapsulated everything I loved reading about; old towns and cities and its people; how they dressed and talked, the war and its consequences and of course Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler who continue to puzzle the reader throughout the book.

Once I start reading a book which turns out to be a page turner, the book is only put down once the last page is turned. I would not mind giving up classes, conversations and even meals in order to finish the book before someone told me the ending. I think that some books affect you in a way that nothing else does. You complete the pages and put down the book but the story never quite leaves you. Dan Brown’s “Inferno” and Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” were two such books for me, and each for their own reasons. They made me feel a little like I was losing something precious to me as I finished them. There are such books which you wish would go on forever. I judge stories as good or bad depending on the ending; the ending always makes or breaks a novel. Wilbur Smith and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are masters of endings and will always have a special place in my heart. I wish I could write about all my favourite authors and books but there are simply not enough pages. I also love collecting books as I read. I hope to leave a library with thousands of books as my legacy some day. One of my greatest desires is to finish my book list but as it tends to grow at an alarming rate every year, I do not think I ever will.

To sum it up, books and stories are my way of relaxing or stirring up deep thoughts. I knew when I picked up that first Harry Potter book that nothing would replace this activity. It has become more than a hobby to me, it has developed into a passion.

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