Written By: Amna Aziz.
You know why I love books? It is because they are my best companions. They take away my tensions and my fears and transport me away from this horrible world; into worlds where fairytales become real, dreams come true, where love does conquer all; into worlds where life is peaceful and people are happy. At least for a little while I’m able to forget the harsh realities of life and actually believe that one day everything will change for the better and that tomorrow will come as a solution to all the problems. I’ve come to live in a make-believe world of my own. These short respites help me cope with everything. My books provide me with an escape, not questioning, not doubting but always helping.
As their black and white pages transform into colorful landscapes with beautiful characters living interesting lives, I become hopeful. Each time a character comes out of a difficult situation, I feel my resolve to do something getting stronger. Through these books I travel around the globe from Spain to Istanbul, to Turkey, on to Venezuela, all the way to Kuala Lumpur. I experience the diversity of life of those living in the terrible Jewish ghettos to the lives of multimillionaire tycoons who are heading great and successful conglomerates to the lives of those who have royalty in their blood. When I’m reading a book its not the black print that I see, I’m looking down the memory lane seeing history in its making. It’s like I’m living the lives of all those people; their dreams, their fears, their happiness, their sorrows, all become mine.
I started reading books in 5th Grade. One evening overwhelmed with boredom I went to my mom in the kitchen and asked her what to do. She came with me to our study, picked out a book from the wall rack and gave it to me. It was the first novel in the series “The Famous Five” by Enid Blyton, named Five on a Treasure Island. I loved it from the very first page till the very end. My craze for books started then and it continues, becoming stronger with every good book that I read though at times I have slow myself down and take out time to do other things such as studying.
It started with Blyton’s and Dahl’s children stories, and then I moved on to Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon for mystery novels. Then Georgette Heyer came my way, along with Sidney Sheldon and Judith McNaught. It so happens that I follow my other siblings lead and mostly read the authors they do but now I’m reading other writers too. I’ve read Paulo Coelho too but I feel it’s too philosophical for me, at least for the time being. I liked Tom Sharpe’s humour but the depiction of cruelty in his novels becomes inhuman. Classics like that of Charles Dickens are also very good of course. I intend to read some contemporary writers like Khaled Hosseini too since my mother says they are pretty good. Up till now Sidney Sheldon is my favourite author.
As I moved from innocent children stories with moral lessons to much more serious novels where complex and intense webs of love, deceit, betrayal and conspiracies entangle with each other, I feel like I’ve learned more from them then from my own experiences. Books have a vital part of my life, they are my best friends.