The first book I ever read was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. I have a clear memory of my dad convincing me to just read one more paragraph, and I sighed and complained as if he had requested I accomplish some sisyphean task, but ultimately did it. And thus began a 15 year love affair with the written word.
Someone recently asked me why I enjoy writing, my response was “why do you enjoy breathing?”. For me, writing is part of how I survive, it is as commonplace as your heart beating but isn’t it extraordinary that a muscle the size of our fist keeps us in this world? Without writing, I don’t know if I would have made it to (almost) 20. Writing is therapy, it is a translation of your truest self into a language that others can understand. When people say “I like this poem”, they really mean “I recognize this poem”. We like writing because between the lines, hidden amidst dialogue, similes, metaphors, paragraphs, we find ourselves.
And reading? The books I have read still live in me. My childhood is cobbled together from Harry Potter, Amar Chitra Katha, and Asterix and Obelix. Who I am and what I have read cannot be separated. I am Holden and Panchaali, Rainer Maria Rilke and Hermione Granger. The lessons and language of these novels will never leave me.