A good part of my childhood was spent in reading, mostly the weekly library books which included children tales, bedtime stories and fables. The knowledge series – tell me why and the World book encyclopaedia. I just loved to read, it didn’t matter to me whether it was just information gathering, learning how something worked, why something was, or the history of our civilisations or books with a lot of illustrations that retold stories that I already knew. I would read just about everything, and so these books and stories have intertwined themselves into a visceral memory of my childhood and the particularities of an individual book, that I could say- was my first is lost in the labyrinth of titles!
But there are some books that even to this day, have a lasting impression on me and have given me an ethereal feel while I was reading them. I have had an out-of-body experience while reading one of my most favourite, most reread books.
One such book is the summer edition of the children’s magazine ‘Gokulam’. Like I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my social science teacher was the one who introduced the magazine to us all in the class, she read out a joke from the magazine and encouraged us to read more. It was the summer of ’96, I bought my first magazine and ran up to a spare room and just read the book front to back in less than an hour. It was the first time I had read stories that were for kids like me! The magazine was completely relatable, age appropriate and fun for me! It was a story about 4 kids spending summer in their grandparent’s place, how they ended up making panagam to beat the madras heat!
The other memorable book, while reading it, I had an out-of-body kind of experience is the Harry potter -goblet of fire! My sister used to lets me read the books her friends suggest and thrust upon her to read. One such was the Harry potter -goblet of fire. When I had started reading, I had no inkling that, one; it was the 4th in the series, and two, about the fame the series had garnered by then. There was the dragon on the cover and I gave it go. The afternoon I read it is well etched in my memory! It was a Sunday afternoon, my parents were out and so our veranda cum car park area was empty and I laid out a mat and read the book sunbathing! I was so lost in the world of witchcraft and wizardry, of Triwizard tournaments and the dangerous tasks that the tournament entailed. I was so lost that when a friend of mine called, it took me more than a minute to figure out where I was, I kept staring at the phone’s receiver and wondering what was doing in that place, and it didn’t occur to me it was my own house and I was out on the veranda. And I hung up on her! As I had no clue what I was supposed to do! It took me few more minutes to phase out of the book and into my life! Luckily my friend called again and I was more coherent this time and finished the conversation with some sense of sanity.
That was the start of an amazing journey for me to into the world that J K Rowling so cleverly created to entice us all! Since then I have reread all the books every year and read the new ones in record time (for me). My personal best was the last, Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows in 15 hrs straight!
This post is in response to #IndiSpire Edition 163 of Indiblogger.in . “Which is the first book you read all by yourself, and what happened to you after that?” #MyFirstBook
Note: The pictures are courtesy spreeder.com, magzter.com and Wikipedia.