At one time, I was a crazy little bookworm. Now, with the number of books I have read over the past year, I think I should just call myself a plain old book lover. I read, but not as much as I would like to. Back in the day, books and I were inseparable. Ask Mamma, she’ll tell you.
She might even complain about me not reading as often nowadays. I remember coming home from school, eating lunch hurriedly only to settle down on the couch near the balcony. Unlike any other spot in the house, here, crisp sunlight would fall right on the book. Mamma would give me an hour to read which, unexceptionally turned into two. She would then start giving unending reminders to finish my homework – she knew I wasn’t the one to sit at home after half past five. Evenings were meant for playing, unlike the evenings we see these days. Anyway, I wouldn’t put the book down until i was done reading the entire chapter.
I was 9, when I joined the library. The first time Mamma took me there, I felt happier than I would have at the toy store. I picked out a ‘Noddy’ book and i fell in love – with the book as well as Enid Blyton. I had found my favourite author and one by one I read all the popular series available at the library. And though I read all her series, right from Secret Seven, Famous Five, The Five Find-Outers to Amelia Jane, St. Claire’s and Malory Towers – some of them more than once – it took me more than the one Noddy book to realise Enid Blyton is my love in first read.
I would devour the books easily within three days and spend the time after that begging someone to accompany me to the library. But the grown-ups had ‘work’ and ‘chores’ to attend to and on some occassions I had extra homework. One of those days, I got my first lesson on never judging a book by its cover – quite literally – and also that instance which reiterated my love for Enid Blyton.
Aajoba got home a Secret Seven book from the library. Although, I had asked for something else. I was a little reluctant to start reading it first – the cover picture wasn’t quite appealing. He was the one to tell me to at least start reading it and if I still didn’t like it, we could always get it changed. And not to mention the book was fabulous. Of course there were other books. How can I forget Roald Dahl? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Matilda? Countless other books kept me company.
I would carry my books everywhere. To my maternal Aaji’s home during summers or weekend trips with the fam,
where I knew I wouldn’t have time to even open a book. But it was nice to know that I had a book in my backpack. I was so addicted to reading, that Baba had installed a reading lamp at the back of the car for me. I was the happiest.
Today, I am guilty of being a big-time procrastinator. Although, it’s safe to say I can finish reading a book within a month’s time. But that is if I pick up a book in the first place. Maybe I should take up a challenge.
Just in case you are wondering, I am now reading ‘The Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I am doing my best to keep the affair going.