I am an addict!
It all started because of the stupid (my favorite word at that age) school library rule. We had to issue at least one book every week. Little did I know the stupid rule was about to change my life. The magic must have been in the air when I found Nancy Drew ‘The Mystery of 99 steps’. Though I don’t remember the entire story, but I can still feel the lingering euphoria when the mystery was solved. Nancy Drew was my first mystery/ suspense heroine.
The second wave of magic weaved its spell when I issued Georgette Heyer’s ‘The Reluctant Widow’ from the senior library, which was the only novel in the library apart from classics. With Lord Carlyon the handsome hero and Miss Rochdale a courageous heroine, I was hurled into the world of adventure, suspense and romance, in that order.
I was addicted!
I read, hiding the story books in my text books, behind the closed door, in the toilet, at the back bench in school. I even read during my exams, on the pretext of taking a break. My mother would threaten me that she would burn my entire collection (era of paperback only). But didn’t, she is an angel!
My sponge like brain absorbed the essence of beautiful words, woven to create a world of make belief. A world, in which, I could lose myself and find myself. If I was not reading I would think of the characters I liked, the changes I would have done in the story I didn’t like. The hobby was and still is a complete de-stressor.
I realized the height of my obsession during my first job interview. In the final round of the interview, I was supposed to meet the Managing Director. After the usual questions, he asked if I read books. I answered in affirmative. Which one? He asked. I smugly answered ‘God Father’ by Mario Puzo (I was reading it the second time, for lack of a new book). He just smiled and nodded. I got the job and felt very intelligent and smart. Later when I got added to his office communication list and started to receive articles from Harvard Business Review and the likes, I realized the gaffe!
I blamed the blunder on my inexperience and subsequent lack of corporate etiquette! Maybe the MD also thought the same, he is an angel!
During childhood, the urge or need was fulfilled by libraries, books borrowed from friends or sometime as presents on birthdays. When I started to earn I could buy at whim and have quite a collection. The era has changed, the collection has moved to eBooks, which my mother cannot burn, but any disaster may happen! I am prepared. I have double back-up of my book collection, the locations known only to me J
Yes, I am a book addict and proud of it!