Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Inspired to Read

Who/What inspired you to read?

This had been one popular topic of discussion the entire last week for me and my friends. H, the eldest among three kids, picked up books to keep away a kind of gnawing loneliness. She found it hard to live in the cacophony at home and needed a chance to run away. She picked up an Enid Blyton by pure chance at an Aunt’s house and was immediately transported to Kirrin Island with George, Dick and Anne. She petted Timmy, fell in love with Aunt Fanny, drank ginger beer and ate ham rolls. Life became perfect and books became the oasis when she thirsted for happiness.

M had an aversion to books. He couldn’t imagine that kids could spend their pocket money to buy a book to read for ‘pleasure’. He had a qualm reverence for such folks and kept away from them for the first 20 years of his life. Then he fell in love with a goddess and as goddesses are, she barely noticed this mortal soul longing for her. He needed to reach her in some way and he noticed that she loved to read. He picked up an Agatha Christie, the author she seemed to be fond of, and read it through in a single sitting. He liked it. Later, in the college library…

Librarian: I have only this one. No other Agatha Christie.

Goddess: I have never read a Miss Marple one. I have only read Poirot. Any idea how this would be?

M: It’s wonderful.

Goddess looked at him. M looked down to see if his feet were still on the floor. He felt kind of wobbly.

M: I just read Sleeping Murder. It is a Miss Marple one and it is fabulous. I’m sure you will like it.

Goddess: Is it better than Poirot?

M (Who had no idea whether Poirot was an author or a character!): Hmmm… I found it as good as Poirot. I’ll give it to you and you can decide.

Goddess: Oh, thanks!

They walked out of the library together that day. Months flew by and the goddess walked away from his life but Agatha Christie didn’t. He became an avid reader.

Me, my hubby and most others didn’t have such interesting tales to share. We loved to read because we were born into a family that loved to read. My husband has shifted home for some 7 times in his childhood and each time with a truckload of books. He was surrounded by a sea of books all through life and reading came upon him as naturally as breathing or walking.

It was not so natural to me. Reading came upon me as a curiosity. I found it hard to believe that something could snatch away my mother’s attention from me. I loved books. They were alright when she read them out to me during each meal. They were even alright when she read them to put me to sleep. However, mine had pictures of palaces and princesses and hers had nothing. They were fat and boring.

Still, I always found her with a book. Even when she was cooking, while one hand held the ladle, the other held a book. When I did my homework, she sat on the sofa beside me and read a book. I have hardly seen her watch television and I have hardly seen her without her book. She read in the quiet of the morning before we could wake up and she read herself to sleep every night. Sometimes I saw her laugh into her book and sometimes I saw her wipe away a silent tear. She seemed to be in another world and I wanted to go there too. The activity of reading enticed me even before I turned five.

(In my wildest imagination, I can't imagine anyone wanting to use this poorly done sketch for any purpose but if you want to, then remember it is copyrighted. Ask and use)

My very first full-fledged book ‘Amelia Jane Again by Enid Blyton’ was gifted by my grandfather when I was around 7 years of age. I must have read through it some five dozen times.
And then there was no looking back.

So, who/what inspired you to read?


  1. As a child I was very restless and would run around either playing with my cousins or land myself into trouble while all the while watching my sister holed up in a corner reading quietly. I would always wonder how someone could sit for such long hours without doing or saying anything. Then as I grew up, she introduced me to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Well along with the tall and broody Mr.Darcy, I fell in love with books. Till this day my sister and I share a rather voracious love for the tiny black letters and it is heart warming to see my son share my passion.

    1. Nothing bonds two people like the common love for books, I feel. It is really a pleasure to know Satvik too enjoys your love for reading.

  2. Enid Blyton was my introduction to the book-world too. I loved her books. Later on, I was hooked to the thrillers written by Michael Creighton, Sidney Sheldon and Arthur Haley. A neighboring lending library was my lifeline during those 12th Std. holidays. But I read fewer books that I would have liked to. No problem, I am catching up now :)

    Destination Infinity

    1. Eashwari Lending Library at Avvai Shanmugham Road is a wonderful place. Have you been there?



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