Why Read?

Reading as a hobby is more often than not seen as dull and boring. When someone asks me about my hobbies and I say, “Reading”, why is it always followed by an awkward “why…?”. Someone who likes sports, dance or music will not be asked the same. So why is this special treatment only for readers? 

Non-readers believe that reading is boring. I say they haven’t found the right book yet. Personally, I like to think that there is some book out there for everyone. They just need to find it. So today, I am here to talk about why I read.

I still remember my first day of the 5th class. We went to our school library that day. I remember sitting on that long wooden table while the librarian ma’am gave each of us a copy of Tinkle Digest. I was in awe of the number of books surrounding us. Little me sitting in that huge chair could only imagine the number of stories waiting for me to explore them. I devoured my book eagerly. I analyzed each image, and read each and every word of the book so that not a spec of ink was wasted.

Since that day, I would hold my breath for the day when we could visit the library again. In about a year, I was eager to explore the books that were out of reach, locked on those shelves for me to only see. When ma’am informed me that I could read them only from class 8th, I decided to immerse myself in comics till the day came.

The day I got my first library card was the best day for me. I wrote my name in the best handwriting, and I stored it in a separate pouch, making sure not to bend it. That yellow L-shaped cardboard file with my name written in pen was my first valuable possession. Each week I borrowed and re-borrowed books. I read them in class, on the bus as well as at home, trying to read as many of those books as I could before passing. Starting with Nancy Drew I became a fan of mystery and Sherlock Holmes was my hero.

Reading might be boring for those who don’t imagine. For me, books were my world that made me forget reality. When Hercule Poirot entered a house to inspect the surroundings, I was right there by his side. When Nancy crept along the garden walls, I sneaked outside with her. Even now, when Lily wept for her lost love, I cried with her. When Violet tried to follow Theodore’s letter, I ran with her. When Rufus gave up on life without Mateo, I crossed the road with him. These stories are not only the writer’s and the character’s, they are also mine. Because I lived their stories and experienced their pain and their happiness. 

So, if someone asks me what made me start reading I will always say, “It was an unnatural pull. Once I gave it a chance, I could never go back.”

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