Hi! So, about a month ago, something weird happened. I decided to do something that almost gave my mum a heart attack.
I decided to Clean! Well, sort of. I got out all my books and figured I would rearrange and catalog them in a way that made sense to me. But, once I got them out, I got all nostalgic and the process took a lot longer than it was supposed to. This led to my living room looking like this for about 3 days. Needless to say, my mom was a lot less happy with my new found desire to clean at the end of this period.
My living room floor had my entire childhood on it. My relationship with books began pretty early. There are pictures of me reading my little alphabet book as early as age one-one and a half. But, my first book that I remember was this big book of Fairy Tales. I read that thing so much, the spine came apart! I remember every little detail about that book. Cinderella, Sindbad The Sailor, Gulliver’s Travels, Snow White and Rose Red!
That was the beginning, what followed was the age of Enid Blyton and Harry Potter, in adjacency with the Scholastic books era. I used to live in a city where there weren’t any decent bookstores, up to age 12. My dad used to bring me books from Chennai every time he went there. We had a deal, during my Enid Blyton phase, 3 books of a series per visit. The Scholastic company would have these book exhibitions and give us this catalog to order books from. Since I was so book starved, I would buy any and every book from the fiction section. Anastasia Krupnik and Ramona Quimby were my heroes when I was 10. My favorite Enid Blyton books were The Five Find-Outers series and The Faraway Tree stories. And I like Malory towers better than St. Clare’s. I remember, I once reread the whole 15 books from the Five Find-Outer series in one sitting. I read a little Nancy drew and Hardy Boys like most kids my age. But, they got predictable, fast. I made the mistake of reading Agatha Christie after reading Arthur Conan Doyle, and well, after you’ve read Holmes, nothing really compares. Hercule Poirot never had a chance.
I read the first 4 Harry Potter books when I was about 8-9. They got me hooked to the genre. I read Artemis Fowl, His Dark Materials, Lots of books by Garth Nix, Ingo, Eragon and the like, ravenously. I had an extensive Fantasy phase. It was the best one and lasted the longest. It also kind of contributed to how the three of us met.
I moved to Chennai from Madurai when I was entering class 8. On my first day of school, as I enter the class, I see lots of groups of people, and for some reason I zone in on these idiots sitting in the last couple of rows and decide, “Hey, I should sit there!”. So I walk over, and ask one of them if I could sit there. They look at me funny, probably wondering why I was asking their permission, but they nod yes, nonetheless. Now, Adzzie claims that she was the one I spoke to, but I don’t really recall.*grin* Anyway, I’m kind of socially awkward and shy, so I just sit there listening to them talk. And the things they were talking about! They were discussing, and I kid you not, how Alan Rickman’s nose was long and that it matched the book’s description perfectly. What you should know is, that where I had come from, people who read anything at all were a scarce commodity, so when I found these bunch of people who read the same kind of things, I was so excited. Then, Fuzzy initiated conversation and the rest, as they say, is history.
Somewhere during the Fantasy phase I read the Maximum Ride series, which I loved, but which got so very crappy later, the Boy Soldier series, which were brilliant, the Magician’s Guild Trilogy, also very, very good, the Bartimaeus Trilogy, the Pendragon books and so many more. The books were so good during this time, we would all read them and discuss them endlessly. We also read Twilight during this time. It was before all the screaming , rabid fangirls and we were 15, so I blame our youth.
Then, as I got older I started reading the kind of stuff I do now. Its a mix of everything, classic literature, contemporary fiction, historical fiction and the occasional young adult novel. I haven’t read a decent fantasy book in so long though!
When I was doing this cleaning, I realized how important books have been in my life. I mean, when I open an old book, I see 10 year old me or 12 year old me. I remember how I was back then, how I used to think and how I’ve changed and grown. I love how the stories you read as a younger version of yourself will change as you mature. These books have been my best friends all my life. There are good ones that I will remember always and some downright terrible ones. But, they all have memories attached to them. Memories of spending all day in bed reading and having my mum yell at me for forgetting to eat, memories of scouring bookstores for that book, memories of staying up till 4 in the morning because I couldn’t put that book down and of getting and reaching for that book first thing in the morning.
Well, that turned out longer than I expected. Anyway, that was my book story. What’s yours?
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