Author: Dipti Sahani
From a girl who couldn’t sleep without reading, to a girl who sleeps with a book only resting by the bedside – life’s changed so much. As a habit I picked in my teens, I still carry an unread novel in my bag. Why boast when you don’t even read it! It’s not about the book, but me – my identity.
The person that I am today is a character that has come into being after being inspired by so many other characters in the novels. Some days I am that misled traveler who doesn’t know where I am heading, and then there are days when I have the determination of the mountains. Where do you think I get this from? Genes, parents, family, bringing – up? If it were so, all my siblings would be the same isn’t it? After all we’ve had the same upbringing; we have the same set of biological parents.
When you bring home a book, you bring a whole new world to your doorstep. It’s a magical world. You meet new people, people with souls – ones who have rugged in life, while there were others who had a breezy existence. Strangers you have never met. You still know these characters better than you’d know anyone else in your life.
You breathe the author’s words day and night. His thoughts open a dimension you’d never thought of. Teaches you to see things through other’s perspective and respect it. They challenge your beliefs and even instill belief in self to face challenges that life throws our way every now and then. You like something about the personality of the kind girl who helps everyone, and you remind yourself to be that way. You dip in the author’s vocabulary. You like an expression, and it sticks to you. Then you don’t miss a chance to weave it in your everyday life – whenever it is.
Books are our teachers, only silent. Ever read a line that moved you to tears? Yes, they are healers too. You never know what’s hurting until you read about it. And sometimes they give you a way for you to vent your pent up emotions.
Books are our guide to the unknown. Parenting, gardening, travel, leisure – it’s all there, in the world of books. It’s only for you to traverse that regime and discover the joy of learning through books. You might not have the money to see the Alps; how about walking through them with a book in your hand?
The camaraderie these paperbacks provide is beyond words. I’ve been through times when I didn’t have friends to turn up to, but never a page I could not turn. They can be your way to keep sane in an insane world. Trials of the characters inspire and then you delight at their triumphs. They can help you conquer your own demons.
Books also make a nice gift for all occasions. Gift a person a book that’s on their list to read, and see them jubilate. It’s certainly one of the finest joys to watch a loved one open a present and rejoice at seeing what they secretly wished. If a book touches your life, give a copy to someone and they’ll be thankful for a lifetime. Hardbacks are the biggest catalysts in our daily lives. They transform you into a better human being even while you are asleep. You wake up one fine morning, and realize you are clandestinely transformed by an idea you read the night before. Such is the magic. Not only in joy, but books make an apt gift even in pain. When you are miles apart and can’t help loved ones cope up with their personal loss, gift them something that will give them strength and a new hope. They’ll remember you for your kindness.
What you read is not just words – behind words, are human beings. Hence it’s easy to connect. Connect with people who read and you’ll be blessed in ways untold. Knowledge, if used well is definitely empowering. A well-read person is often sought after for dialogue and discussion.
And you know what – the beauty is, it’s never too late to pick a book. So what if you weren’t read to as a child, or didn’t bother to read in your growing years. There is no age to embark on this noble obsession.
As a mother you can help your child grow wings. It’s up to you how you groom the pre-schooler, toddler, school goers or the teenager at home. You have a secret magic wand. Feel responsible enough to pass it on to your children.
A house without a library is a house without a soul. I recently rented out an apartment and moved in with very minimal stuff. However the reason why I chose to get my little collection of books along – it’s my treasure trove and makes me who I am today. So it’s minimal living, but not without books! So what if it’s been a couple of months of not reading, I am sure to take to it as a fish takes to water. It’s just about pulling me together and getting started again. So every time I see that unread title dusting on my mantle –piece, I feel a slight smile pass my lips. It’s a reminder – never too late to begin where we stopped!
And as I close this piece today, something tells me that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (had been eyeing this for a long time) will very soon meet its destiny in my hands.
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ― Mark Twain
As a writer, I’ll be happy to read back from you. So please drop me a line and we’ll connect over words if not coffee