“I have brought you a gift!” My dad winked at me.
“And what is it?” I said smiling.
Dad had brought me a couple short story books; one was filled with stories of princesses, and the other was tales of animals.
I chuckled and confirmed if dad had really brought them for ME! And he assured me he had and said that he thought I would love them. I told him that I do love these books as they made me remember my childhood.
I was very little, maybe in second grade, when my uncle used to bring me lots and lots of poetry and story books. They used to be in English and in Urdu too. Not just that he also read me those books and made me remember some of the poems and names of princesses.
When I got a bit bigger, he brought me bigger books full of pictures and words. But soon he got busy with his job and he rarely brought me any book. Once he also gifted me books which were in English and they had Urdu translation with them so I was able to understand those stories more powerfully. I loved all of them.
Books, especially story books, has always been -kind of- my passion. The love for them never abated even when my uncle stopped bringing me books. I used to go to Book Fair which was held every year at my school; that used to be the wonderful Book Fair with lots and lots of books. I remember buying a book from that Book Fair in which was a poem named ‘Jack and Jill’. That book was one of the most beautiful books I possessed, my first pop-up book.
Once, long after I left that school, my mom who teaches there bought ‘The Story Of Rapunzel’ for me. I remember it well and I still have it saved.
For a long long time I never knew that novels existed too so I kept reading story books until once, when I was in 8th grade, I saw a novella for the very first time, surprisingly I was not surprised instead I somehow felt familiar with the book so I asked that boy to give it to me for a day to whom it belonged. He agreed. It was named ‘David Copperfield’.
Then I guess I forgot about this ‘Novel’ thing until in 9th grade I got a chance to read ‘David Copperfield’ again. Later I asked dad if there were any libraries here or any book shops from where I can buy novels and he said that he didn’t know but my uncle, who once brought me loads of books, said he knew an old, small library when I asked him if there were any.
Unfortunately, or say it fortunately, I couldn’t find any satisfying novel so I bought a book named ‘Seven habits of highly effective teens’ by Sean Covey. I loved it! And only then I got to knew that in this world there are writers who write self-help books.
Later in 9th grade a distant friend of mine introduced me to ‘Twilight’ and I bought it. Soon we became close friends.
And then on I started reading novels, one after other. Charlie and the chocolate factory, Matilda, Enid Blayton’s series of famous five, Goosebumps series, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Harry Potter Series, A walk to remember, The Notebook…
In 10th grade, once when I went to stay at my grandparents, I was introduced to my favorite writer ‘Paulo Coelho’. It was again my same uncle to introduce me to him. He came from office with the copy of ‘Alchemist’ and I snatched it from his hand. I didn’t realize his mood was off so he snatched back the book from me. I asked him to give it to me and he said that he won’t. As stubborn as I was I kept asking him for that book but he got angry and scolded me out of his room. Yuck! That was bad but the anger boiling in me made me buy 5 books by Paulo Coelho the very next day.
I read them all, one by one, first Alchemist, and when my uncle came to visit us I showed him all of them and told him that I was not in need of his help anymore. He didn’t say anything but laughed. Later I found myself reading more books by Mr. Coelho…
I am 19 years old now and still read books. These days I am reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. The good and greater change is that I write too. I am not a very good or published writer but I write as much as I can and this is what I like to do. I started writing back in 9th grade when I realized that people who are not writers can also write.
I’ve decided to read those stories which my dad has brought me to my youngest brother who is now 10 years old as I very much want to see him a reader as I’ve always been.
Later today I asked my dad that from where he found those books as they were old and used. He told me he bought them in 20 rupees each from an old man he found sitting at the corner of the street with some books. I was astonished and wondered that how beautiful it would look to see an old man on every street corner selling used books in cheapest prices.
There is always something good to learn from each book. Different things influence people and make them. Reading is one of those things. We are not only what we say or eat, we are also what we read. So we should have a good taste in good genres so that we, the readers, turn out to be good people.
Happy Reading to all those who read! 🙂