Random musings of a wandering soul

Why she reads


The girl had never seen a shop like that before. It was slightly dark, the walls were hidden behind rows and columns of books, old and weary. The smiling man who was talking to her father noticed the wonder in her eyes, pulled down a small book and said, “take it, you can read and give it back to me.” And thus she crossed the doors to a wonderland where she still remains, happily lost in that magical labyrinth.

Years have passed by, people have asked her time and again why she refuses to come out or what is it that keeps her so enthralled. She was so busy travelling across places, meeting and talking to characters from across the world and sometimes even from outer space, sharing thoughts, learning new things, that she never thought it was necessary to even think of the why. For she believed some joys are meant to be savored sans reason. When the questions persist and people around continue to wonder the how, why, when and where, maybe its time she at least made an attempt at it.

Why does she read? The answer is quite simple, there is nothing in the world that gives her as much happiness and peace. Is it an easy escape route for her? Maybe. Or is it that the wanderlust in her gets some satiation? More so. Could it be that she gets to meet people that she wouldn’t have otherwise? Yes. And would it be that she enjoys her grey cells being simulated? Of course yes, because in her life of routines,many of the souls that she gets to meet…. she hopes you get the drift. Or is it that serendipitous feeling of meeting a kindred soul in an author who talks exactly the same voice that has been wandering inside her for ages? Yes, that too, and she says that is one feeling that cannot be explained so easily. So going back to the question, why read? She asks back, Why the song? Why the dance? What for the sun, the rain, the breeze? Why the air and why breathe? Or for that matter, why live at all?

Does she read too much? And what does she get out of it? Her answer is not in her words. It is in the sparkle of two pairs of eyes Β as they delve into the land of princes and princesses. It is the thud of a young heart that beat loud and strong Β with someone on a bicycle along the French countryside, the same heart that almost broke into a million pieces as the cyclist fell into a deep and dark gorge. It is also in a mind that is soaking in everything around like an insatiable sponge, spewing it out in bits and pieces, sometimes as a pleasant surprise, at other times as a rude shock, but never Β a boring drone. The reward is a lifetime friend, that will never let her or her angels down , who will be there when they need it. What she gets in return for the long hours with her head in between the leaves of papyrus are a pair of heads that rests on her shoulders, two cherubic voices that ring out in laughter , tears that flow down a couple of cheeks as she guides them into that magical land she has always been in. What she also gets are two beings who slowly turn into humans and she hopes and prays the magic remains in them and they reside in that magic for life.

Have these characters of fiction, these weavers of magic, changed her? Her friends over the years consider her a little different, slightly crazy and mostly a dreamer. They love to remind her that she hasn’t changed a bit. She begs to differ, though.Yes, essentially she is the same person that she has always been. What has changed is the way she thinks, how she reacts, and the slow but sure tempering of the flaming fire that was her hallmark. Some might say it is the years that is mellowing her. She doesn’t disagree, but that’s not the only thing. It is also the people that she has met, the experiences that she has been through, the loved ones that she lost along the way and the new loves that meandered their way into her life. What has sustained her through this is the magic that she found all those years ago. Not everyone is lucky enough for that, though.

You need to be magical to find that special kind of magic.

Comments on: "Why she reads" (46)

  1. I love this, it seems to be my story. I can totally identify

  2. Loved this! Totally sounds like the story of any of us book-lovers. I really cannot explain to some people who ask me why do I read so much, why do I prefer books over TV. I’m fed up of telling them, ‘No I’m not an introvert’. Next time someone asks me this question, I’ll send them over here πŸ˜€

  3. privytrifles said:

    This is so beautiful… and yes I can also relate to it!! πŸ˜€

  4. So beautiful Bindu πŸ™‚ Every book lover’s story huh πŸ™‚

  5. Nice insights on the virtues of reading. A hobby with no age barriers πŸ™‚

  6. Oh yes, I have been asked this many times too. “Why do you read? Why not go out and live?”. They don’t understand it. It is so much like Alice in Wonderland. Very well said. πŸ™‚

  7. Such a beautiful post, Bindu. This could be my story, as well. πŸ™‚

  8. That was so so beautiful, Bindu! Reading is magical indeed!

    Loved this post πŸ™‚

  9. sridevi1974 said:

    Lovely ..can perfectly relate with this πŸ˜€

  10. This is beautifully written Bindu. I can completely identify with it. My life will be incomplete without a book in my bag. πŸ™‚

  11. Beautiful….. You inspire me to write a similar story, my story. Not too different though. This post is magical :))

  12. Loved this post!! You are so right.. its the magic and the sparkle! I can identify with this so well…

  13. One can feel the passion in your words coming out, Bindu!!

  14. beautiful post, bindu…! wishing that your kids reads this in their teens/youth, cherishes it and follows it in their life…..

  15. I didn’t get to read most of the children’s book till I was in college. When I was in primary school, I read all the adult stuff all the magazines mainly in Malayalam. I also read the annual issues of all these magazine during the summer vacation. During pre-degree I started reading the classics. I started reading English books and started from all the comics and children’s books after I joined Engineering college. So I missed the magic of reading children’s books during childhood.

    • Unfortunately that library closed down soon after, the only solace was the rationed one book a month that we used to get from the school library. A friend and I used to help the librarian cover the books to get an extra book to read πŸ˜€
      Serious reading started after getting into college, where library was more accessible

  16. Reading started pretty early for me.. For I have read most of the books in my school days only when I had the luxury of time.Now am scared to take a book coz of the very same reason I love it.. That I would be lost in the magic land. You have written so beautifully!!

  17. Sigh. Totally relate to this. It is amazing how a book takes you to all those different places and introduces you to a variety of people.

  18. “You need to be magical to find that special kind of magic.”

    – WOW, so beautifully written Bindu…I really miss my books now a days…I am waiting to get back to that magical world !!!

  19. […] Bindu Manoj tells us why she reads […]

  20. subzeroricha said:

    I remember as a child I read so much my uncle used to tease me saying “Shaheed Richa Singh in literature” Without books my life seems so empty, even as I am reading one blog after another I know after about an hour of this I have a book waiting. I plan my reads, my book buys as meticulously as grocery list (or perhaps even more).

    A great read on why does she read πŸ™‚


    • Hey , thanks Richa. Isn’t it beautiful how common interests , or should I say passion, brings people together ? I could just go on and on about books and reading πŸ™‚

  21. Beautiful Bindu……u knw I had almost forgotten and brought it back to me.

    …..two cherubic voices that ring out in laughter , tears that flow down a couple of cheeks as she guides them into that magical land she has always been in. What she also gets are two beings who slowly turn into humans and she hopes and prays the magic remains in them and they reside in that magic for life……ohhh yes πŸ™‚

  22. Don’t tell me the fiery you has tempered. I love the fiery, catty bindu πŸ™‚

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