I’ve loved to read. For as far back as I can remember..
Clear memory of 2nd and 3 rd standard -after school, I’d head straight for the library, to pick out my book for the day, in the 10-15 minute before Dad came to pick me up. If he was late – oh great! I’d sit by the door and read. It helped that the library was on a little hillock with a clear view of the school gate. So Dad could spot me. Instead of the regular 1 book in 2 weeks, the librarian, Mr Jarvis (ya, I remember his name, and his face, >25 yrs on) would let me take a new book each day. :D What a collection there was in that small school libary. By 10 I’d breezed through most of Enid Blytons, Famous Five, Secret 7 and what not. I knew more about Roman and Greek mythology, Caribbean, African and Australian folklore; Red Indian more than Indian. I’d travelled the world, through those books.
Pre teens. Somehow, a small quaint library tucked away in a corner of Chappan Dukaan was found. And I discovered the Dr Who series.
The teens were ruled by Alistiar McClean, Jack Higgins & Fredrick Forsyth. Right along with Richard Feynman (if you’re a fan, here’s a recording of a few of his lectures) Nelkon & Parker, Resnick Halliday, Stephen Hawkin and Paul Davies. Torn between wanting to be a detective, and a theoretical physicist. Senior School had the most amazing library ever. And a rather surprised, amused librarian, who let me hang around the library long after I graduated.
College got me to the largest library I’d everseen in my life. What seemed like endless rows and floors. But my indulgence was limited to the reference section, thanks to all the other campus activities jostling for attention. But I did get to meet Richard Bach, Ayn Rand and Paulo Coelho. I was there chugging along with Dagny & Howard on the first railroad ride on the the John Galt Line. I’ve hopped across planets with The Little Prince… They’ve remained good friends through all the movement over years and hold a dear spot on my bookshelf. Every once in a while, I still escape into the clouds, on a biplane with the barnstorming (reluctant) messiah.
Books experienced in full technicolor were later replaced by dry black and white, manuals and wiki pages; with the occasional Jeffrey Archer thrown in; as other things took priority. There was a brief late blossoming though. At the ripe old age of 25, I took to reading MBs. 1 done in an hour. 4-5 each weekend. In a few weekends I’d exhausted all the English books at the small library near my house. And also my patience. Then I was rescued by Herman Hesse & Carlos Castenada.
Over the last 2 years, I’m trying to get back again. To reading. Mostly find myself drawn to the old friends. The few I still have left sitting on my shelf. I dust them off and plunge in. Once again the little girl, off to her adventures.