“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book”
-Whoever said that is a man or woman after my own heart.
I am fortunate to have grown up in a time when phones were always attached to a wall and tablets meant medicines. Movies were only shown in the cinema and playing meant going outside in the sun (which was something I never did willingly). So, thanks to my parents and the library they created at home, when bored, I usually turned to a book.
I remember going on holiday to my mother’s place one year and complaining to my grandfather that I had nothing to do. The sweet man retrieved some novels from the old house and gave them to me to keep. I admired the red and black binding and the smell of the old thin yellowing pages and ran my fingers over the faded ink that had written my mother’s name almost 40 years before that. The books that belonged to my mother are some of my most treasured possessions and I wouldn’t part with them for all the gold in the world.
Not many of my classmates or even my colleagues read and they think it’s odd that I have the patience to read beautiful detailed descriptions of locations claiming to be transported to the place where the hero is or that I enjoy narrations that make my teeth chatter because the heroine is shivering in the cold winter when I can’t sit through a Bollywood item number without groaning. “Why!?!”, I’m often asked. “Why take the trouble, might as well wait for the movie…right?” They will never know the joy of seeing a story come alive in your mind and I feel sorry for them a little bit…
Growing up, people called me nerdy because I had my nose in a book so much and I hated it. It was unfair that the cool kids were the ones who excelled at sports, not the ones who liked reading. But, that’s what it was and looking back, I realize that that was all nonsense. In all honesty, there are not many things better in life than the pure joy of getting lost in the pages of a good book…
As William Styron said, “ You live several lives while reading…“