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One of my biggest fears is  that once I am no more in this world, I would not be able to read any more books. Even now, all I want to do in my free time is read, read and read.  There is so much to read and such a finite life.

I love books more than I love anything else.  My first introduction to books was probably ( I say probably  because I do not have a clear memory of it.) at the age of 5 by my mother.   Whether she was  sick and tired of me fighting with my younger sister or she wanted her daughters to be initiated into the world of books  at a very early age. Whatever be the reason, I’ll be eternally grateful to her for this.  

Since I had my first book, I haven’t felt too much need for human company.  Give me a good book and I’m sorted. Living in  the capital city of one of the largest democracies has its own advantages  in so far as  furthering my love for books is concerned.  I was a member of a public library near my house when I was  nine years old. Since then till I started earning, I  became  a member of various libraries in Delhi,  American, British and local  libraries. As a college student, I would save every penny  for two years so that I would not have to borrow money from my parents  for the  World Book Fair  that was organized every two years.  Even now when I earn my own money, books remain my only indulgence where my  money goes.

Books are so much more to me than words printed on paper ( Yes, I belong to the traditional school where the thrill is still derived from  holding a book in your hand, feeling the paper and turning the pages).. They are my friends, my teachers, my windows to the rest of the world.  Being a woman of  limited economic resources, these tightly bound  sheets of paper  act as my  ticket and visa to tour my favourite places.  “ Memoires of Geisha”  took me to Japan  ;  “The Help  made me tour the Southern  part of the USA in the 1960s and my current book “ The Museum of Innocence “ has taken me to  Turkey.  All I had to do was to shell out a few hundred rupees to  undertake enchanting  travel.

I feel, books understand me more than people.  times when I feel alienated from the world around me,  a particular book whispers  “ Pick me up and I’ll take away your pain”.  When my best friend passed away due to acute liver cirrhosis, the only solace were the books I read.  “ Dry , “ A Million Little Pieces”;The Tennis Partner and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married”  were the books where the protagonist  had addiction issues, just like my friend.  For me  each character became him; I could identify with their struggle and with the emotions of hurt and anger that their family and friends felt  every time the character slipped or deceived his/ her family friends.  Each of these books have a few tear stained pages and a thank you hidden somewhere in them.

 Reading a  very good book is  like  being in the company of your lover for a short time. You know your time is limited thus you savour every moment. Your heart tears into pieces when you say good bye to  him/ her. I feel the same when  I read “ To Kill a Mocking Bird.  I never wanted our time to end. Reading the last page was like saying a very painful good- bye to my beloved.

 No matter what happens to me or where my life takes me, if I have a good book, nothing else matters. 



I love this article! :-)

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