I enjoy reading all genres, all writers, both poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. What I feel is I would have lost into the darkness of loneliness if it weren’t books. Never would have reflected about my deeds if it weren’t writers like Matthieu Richard. I would have never loved my beloved so deeply if I had never learned that love can be so deep, like that of Juliet. And I would have never been a feminist if it wasn’t Virginia Woolf.
“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.” Mary Mcleod Bethune
For me, it all started with ‘Muna’, a monthly magazine for children.
My mom handed me a copy of it one fine day saying “padnu parcha, naya naya kura thaha huncha” (Reading helps in your exploring new things). I was in grade one, maybe. I went through the pages one by one, fascinated by those beautiful pictures. And I realized it had stories written by students. I wanted to write one.
Sort of words; I realized.
Even these days, when I sit down to write, I feel; I am sort of words, I am not good at vocabularies… I feel stuck most of the times when it comes to prepositions. “Should I use ‘on’ or ‘ín’ here?” I struggle.
I hesitate to call myself a writer because I feel like writers are the most intelligent person. The tag ‘writer’ bongs on my head with the question ‘Do I qualify to call myself a writer?’
I stumble to answer it. But yes, what I would be happy to call myself is, an amateur, who doesn’t want to quit writing as it lets me express. It lets me dream. Sorry, I drifted away. I am not going to write about writing today. Yes, that’s why I am not a writer. I keep on drifting away from my context.
So back to ‘Muna’. Muna introduced me to a whole new world of reading and my story of transformation began. Living in a nuclear family, where both my parents were busy in work, and with no friends around the neighborhood, I used to be home alone most of the times and during those moments, books were my only companion.
Reading was first a compulsion, then it became my fascination and now a survival. I call it my basic need. If you are close to me you know, I can live without rice (staple food of Nepal) but not without books. I never realized when ‘Muna’ turned into Shakespeare and into Oscar Wilde and then into Daniel Goleman. It just happened.
Books show me my own shift in perspective. I had generated a different meaning out of ‘Shirish ko Ful’ when I read it the first time in grade 12. When I read it the second time in my undergrad, I realized that the book was way beyond what I had inferred.
What might seem like lifeless pages to someone, have given life to me and not only to me but also to so many other people. So that was my story of Transformation, how reading transformed me.
Today, I am sharing the list of books that friends on my Facebook shared as ‘the one that changed their lives’. The list isn’t in any particular order.
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
3. Peer-e-Kamil by Umera Ahmed
4. The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey
5. Biography of Warren Buffett by Lawrence A. Cunningham
6. Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson
7. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
8. The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand
9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
10. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
11. Personality by Swami Vivekananda
12. The Diamond Sutra by Osho
13. The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen
14. Jane Ayre by Charlotte Bronte
15. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
16. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
17. Gulmohar English Reader (A Secondary level English Book)
18. Goldmund and Narcissus – Herman Hesse
I strongly believe that this list of books will definitely bring a new perspective in your life too. I would love to learn your viewpoint. as for me reading is not just going through the words of the writer but it’s also giving your own perspective to it.