My Life Surrounded by Books

Reyna Mary John
Thursday, December 21, 2017

“I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.” –Jorge Luis Borges

The school day is over and I’m back home, throw the bag away and run to the bookshelves, then pick up a book, flip the page and read. A routine repeated again and again, hour after hour, day after day, month after month... I could go on and on and on. I grew up to what a normal person wouldn’t have called ‘a child of the 21st century.’ I have large variety of books from fiction to non-fiction, fairy tales to moral stories, novel to abbreviated novels, biographies to auto biographies, preschool magazines etc…

Ever since I was a kid I was taught to grow up and find entertainment in my surroundings. I had many choices varying from drawing, painting, toys (including cars), books everything… except well internet, TV, mobile phone typically anything with a screen. I wasn’t upset or anything, I believe until I was 10 I never grasped the concept of the ‘Internet’, I was interested only in books, I’d read 2-3 books a day and need more in an hour. I don’t think my parents were upset about my want for books, in fact I actually think they understood my love for books as their own childhood was filled with them. In fact the only thing that they never say “no” to is the books. Whenever I would go to India and I’d return with a month load of books that was already half read. I grew up a simple life and I wasn’t very social, books were my only escape from what I call ‘an absolutely, negatively, totally, horribly, bad day’. I would say that I am actually stuck to a book and my love from them acts as the glue. Though my parents often encourage me to read, they often tell me that I have got way too many books but I just look them in the face and say. “Too many books? I think you mean not enough bookshelves.” I am always stressed about not having enough books. When I look at my bookshelf abibliophobia gets me into a blind panic.

I am still attracted to the world of books, so much that my parents who used to spend half their time on the screen actually take my books and read them. Until a year ago I never made a lot social contact, the only people I would ever talk to were my teachers, and since I was so lonely I had the urge to make up stories of my own and I succumbed to it, what else? So when no one was looking I just took my extra time to write stories, compose poems and very often hum a tune that came to my head. I realized after reading my stories over again, they were incorrect half the time, so I plucked up the courage one day to ask my class teacher to check my scripts. My teacher made the necessary changes and seemed quite proud of what I scribbled on the paper. My English teachers were happy to help me and often encouraged me to keep going, even when my work was criticized. One poem which my teacher took great interest in was one where personification was pushed to its utmost level. My parents even bought a kindle for me so that I can read books where ever I am but I simply like the touch and feel of books so much that I have started to neglect the kindle.
I love books and to this day I have a few favorites which are The Alchemist and Like A Flowing River by Paulo Coelho, Matilda by Roald Dahl, I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Famous Five by Enid Blyton, Secret Seven also by Enid Blyton, Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank, and many, many, many more.

I never understood and I don’t think I ever will understand to this day why everyone (well almost everyone) has the tendency to buy a book and not read it. (A most brutal crime in my opinion). Many of us are also quite addicted to those glass screens which are absolutely nothing. In fact even I don’t know even the basic terms of the net. I can’t live without books; it is like food and drink for me I am very sure anyone else who adores books like me would think that even a day without books is the worst nightmare.

Reyna Mary John
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