When I think back on how I became happily addicted to books and reading, I inevitably focus on three things: my mother, my first buy, and then came “the church of books”: my school’s library.
The whole credit of my reading habit (which turned out to be an enormous habit), or the gateway to the heaven of books was unlocked by my beautiful mother when I was a kid. I remember when she used to read to me from time to time and when I grew up, she would sit beside me and make me read and understand a lot of things. I can imagine that purely but titles we read together are vague in my memory. Somewhere I read recently that what we are taught in childhood which when becomes a habit, we don’t think twice before performing that action again. And yes, I would say I am always indebted to my mother for making me explore the world through words. Thanks Mom.
My First Buy
The next was when I bought my first book, Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips by Debbie Dadey & Marcia Thornton Jones. I remember I was beaming for weeks whenever I looked at the cover, and the white pages (which now have turned yellow when I last saw it, and yes I still have it somewhere) holding it in my hands, and taking it wherever I went. I was in third standard and I don’t remember reading it wholly. But that book has been a motivation factor in my school days to buy more books.
The Church of Books: the School’s Library
I was never very popular in school, and I was an admittedly easy target for teasing (I didn’t have a very robust vocabulary of curse words, I was small and skinny, and naive). Suffice it to say, I didn’t like many of my classmates. When those kids would roam and run, and chatter and make fun, all day, I would sit in the library and read books. The place was heavenly. All started with a compulsory library class scheduled in between other classes twice a week. But then, thanks to those two lovely librarians, I was allowed to come and sit and read whenever and whatever I like. The combination of auburn colored wooden tables and the plastic chairs, all the sections divided alphabetically, the stale smell of yellow pages, and the dust covered hard bounded books which were not even moved from their positions in a decade. I read them. They were my classmates and taught me about love, relationships, marriage, artistic creation, despair, work, racism, sexism, injustice, freedom, and commitment. I could sit there experience what the books describer and I could travel and see so many beautiful things. Books were my refuge, my comfort, and my teachers.