My Attempts to Read That First Novel

During my school days, I remember, a lot of other kids used to pass time reading some books while travelling in the school bus or while bunking classes. At that time, I was not introduced to reading as a hobby and so obviously I found it a little mysterious how some of them could actually read books which were over a 100 pages thick. Don’t take me wrong, I did do a lot of reading of my own, but it was always comics and never any serious reading like novels. And it is also not that I don’t consider reading comics as requiring an equal zeal, but reading novels was something different for me. Something unattainable.

Finally, when I was in class 10, one of my uncles visited us and when he went back, he incidentally forgot his Jeffrey Archer novel called “A Matter of Honor.” This was the first novel ever to lie around in my home in my memory and a few weeks passed and it kept calling to me. Many times, I would pick it up, check out its pages and cover and then put it down again, not sure what would happened if I opened it, until a day arrived when I could just not resist anymore.

I cannot forget this book ever because of the number of time I tried to read it and failed. I clearly remember the first time I started reading it, I went on for 5-6 pages before putting it down. Why? Because I just couldn’t understand anything. Few days later, I tried again and almost reached the end of the first chapter. Still nothing. So I quit again. I think I tried a few more times and the only thing I remember even now from that first chapter was the name Romanov and I guess some terms related to Russia. I guess it was just too much and the information was too new for me to understand. Finally, one time I decided to read on after reaching the end of Chapter 1 onto Chapter 2. I really compelled my self to continue reading even if it did not make sense and see what happens. And as I read more and more I started to understand what was happening and it turned out that I was actually enjoying it a lot. It grew upon me with such pace that I could not sleep at nights because I was so engaged in it and it took me a few days to finish my reading. (Come on guys, it was my first book).

I think that book changed my life because it encouraged me to read more and more. Starting with other books of Archer and then going on to read Sydney Sheldon and others, reading quickly became a habit that I haven’t been able to give up even 13 years after that first novel. Today, not a days passes without me reading at least a few pages from one of the hundreds of books that I own and keep in my bedroom.

Now that I think about it, I was very fortunate that my uncle forgot that book at my home. And I feel it was really good that I did not give up on that book despite failing to so many times in my attempts to understand what reading was all about.

Today, reading is my life’s greatest passion, a sort of obsession, and I am happy that I got into it and it will always be something that I can never give up.

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