>Because books really do make a difference!


Books and I go a long time back. And when Dipali showed me the reason to share how long, I was more than happy to.

I fell in love with the world of words when I was a baby. I don’t know what brought us together – books and me. Was it the first storybook I got from my grandfather – a book on Jesus Christ. I was too young to read the alphabet then, forget a book. But loved how he would lie down on his bed in the afternoon, and read out the story to me. I hung on to every word like it was the gospel… Perhaps, it was how my mother couldn’t sleep before reading two pages of a magazine, a novel, a paper – whatever she could lay her hand on. Perhaps, it was how my much older cousins fought over Sydney Sheldons, or my sister hid her Mills & Boons from me because I was too young to read them then. Perhaps, it was all of those reasons that made me turn to books.

I devoured Enid Blytons in school, but there is one book that hooked me to reading for life – Rebecca. I had received an abridged version of Daphne Du
Maurier’s classic as a return gift on my cousin’s birthday (oh yes, in those days they gave books for return gifts, not plastic toys!). I was in second standard then, 7 or 8, I guess. And I had never before read anything like this. The narrayive style of the book was actually life changing. Because, it made me want to say in words everything I did, as if I was writing about my life in the stream of consciousness style. I faltered for words and found myself looking for a vocabulary that exceeded my years. And that’s when I truly fell in love with what words could do. And how.

It’s crazy, but I still do it – turn my life into a book in my head! Anytime I’m alone, I’m spinning sentences about how I would describe what I am doing, or seeing, or feeling right at that moment. And it’s all because of a book I read more than 20 years ago!

Of course, I later read the unabridged version of Rebecca and loved that too. But not in a life-changing way.

Different books have different impacts on you depending on where you are in life. Eat, Pray, Love came to me at a time when I was best placed to receive it as I did. I was feeling a little diffident, a little despondent and very lost.

The book takes you through the inward and outward journeys of a woman – one spiritual, the other sensual. And being the kind of person who believes in yin and yang balance, the two journeys, conjoined at the start as at the finish, made total sense to me, even spurred me to open up to similar experiences in my life.

And I’m telling you this for a very good reason.

BlogHer and BookRenter, a company that rents textbooks to college students, have joined forces because we know that books make a difference.
From May 3-28, together we are working to make a difference in children’s lives by generating new books for children who need them most — via the nonprofit organization First Book.
Want to help?
For every answer we receive in the comments to the following question, one book will be donated:

What book has had the greatest impact on your life?

That’s right: All you need to do is leave a comment, and BookRenter will donate a book to a child in need — up to 1,000 books.
Want to help even more? You can blog about our campaign, then add the specific URL of your post to Mr. Linky and we’ll add another book to the tally.
Because books really do a make a difference.
There are still a couple of days till the 28th- please do leave a comment, and blog too!


14 responses »

  1. >hello..started reading your blog recently! admire your style of writing and identify with many a thought of yours! I am an avid reader myself and I can never replace the smell and feel of books with whatever the latest technology has to offer! anyways getting back to the topic in question, it is extremely difficult to pick just one book as, different books have influenced me at each stage of my life! so I'll pick the author(Enid Blyton) and her books (right from Noddy!)that plunged me into a world of imagination I would have otherwise never known.Neighbors and family were tortured with our famous five and secret seven inspired "adventures" and "investigations" and therefore it is safe to say that these books impacted more than just my life!;) I hope this comment of mine will help in spreading the joy of reading that I once discovered as a kid! 🙂

  2. >Different books have different impacts on you depending on where you are in life.Absolutely true! I can imagine the traces of all the books we've ever read which have had an impact on us layering our subconscious minds!

  3. >If life is a game then these are the rules. I read part of it and it still gets to me about how we can change to the better.and i adore Nora Roberts books.

  4. >@TZ: You know, there was Enid Blyton in this post too before I rethought and edited it. And Famous Five reminds me of Nancy Drew! How could I forget those?!@Nu: You're welcome :)@Dipali: I tried reading a Nancy Drew when I was in class 3. Hated it. In class 5, I was loving it! So there!@Esha: Really? Must pick it up.@Karan A: Love that book too. Had I read at some other time of my life, I'd probably have been far more influenced by it.@Nidhi: Thanks!@Ze2red: Interesting screen name!

  5. >I have also loved the books from my childhood..but cant name a single book that changed my life…I love so many different genres.from Enid Blyton to…hindi classics.

  6. >Wanna know the book that got me into reading? Haunted by Chuck Palahnuik. I think we both enjoy reading for separate reasons, but either way we both appreciate them to a huge extent. Books are a zone of possibility to me, and improving upon ideas and evolving as a person is an inevitable factor in the reading process.

  7. >Just completed "The Palace of Illusions" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and feel like reading more books on the famous epic Mahabharata. Truly amazes me on how the human emotions and instincts have remain unchanged for centuries and the way they have been reflected in this epic. As it is said – retelling stories increases their power! Hope more children get to know the gift of stories through books.

  8. >Oh I'm so sorry to read this post late :(,have always been reading your blog (came through Smita's blog earlier) but then this time its been few weeks that I dropped in here. Liked your post and missed to participate in this campaign by just 3 days :(. Maybe next time.

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