While I was growing up, my paternal grandfather always encouraged his grandchildren to read. He nudged us to go to the nearby library and borrow something, anything. Since he was good friends with the library owner and often sat there, it sparked our reading genes. Thus began a long standing relationship with books and me. Ever since my attachment with books and stories has only continued to grow.
Tales of the faraway tree, the famous five, Nancy Drew, Perry Mason, Roald Dahl's children collection and finally to authors for whom a dictionary was a must. Books have always been my escape. Whenever I am sad, I read a book and drown myself in those tales and forget my woes. I was never a picky reader. I loved discovering new authors. When I uncovered someone not so popular, it gave me a high to read what they had to say. But it has to be said that over time some writers left a more lasting impression on me. The elegant style or the power in their simplistic words left me wishing I could have the same effect on someone. I believe my love for telling stories ignited on one of those days. Often I would read phrases that would voice an emotion I was unable to explain. That's the first thing that attracted me to reading and one of the things I love most about books; their ability to reach out to you and do the talking.
They even pull you by the arm and help you dive face forward into that world; that magical world that the author created. I get so lost in a book that I completely zone out. To me, it is a classic sign of a great book and an even better story teller; the unwillingness to put the book down; the uncertainty of whats lurking ahead; the inability to leave the scenes of the book.
While working on my dissertation which focussed on literature I encountered a brilliant writer and poet, Ted hughes. Not so popular as a writer, better known as Sylvia Plath's husband, the man radiated inexplicable talent. He made me dwell on the thought of how tough it is for an outsider to ever understand your pain. I personally believe, he did a magnificent job of putting into words his wife's pain on several occasions. But I think the more you read, fiction as well as non-fiction, you learn to see the world from others points of view. It helps in opening your mind to varied views, thoughts, musings and feelings.
So, I wouldn't be entirely wrong if I feel that my reading helped in shaping my thoughts and in turn shaping me. For indeed, I read and hence I am me.