Learning how to read and coping with failure

Subscribe to our Newsletter

I was eight years old when a girl asked me do you read and I replied (embarrassingly), yes, Cinderella. The embarrassment was driven from an atmosphere where non-academic books were considered a distraction and I had to polish a lie because she seemed to have prior knowledge. I had actually read four books, Cinderella, Princess and the pea, Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel by the age of twelve, quite less for a hobby to exist. A big book of India-Pakistan’s (subcontinent) history was my first and failed attempt to adopt book reading as a pastime, which I thought would have been fancy of me but it had occurred otherwise due to age misfit.

Source Image: comicphonics.com

Another shot to read was the children series called Famous Five by Grid Blyton which I had only finished for a school report but couldn’t attend much to read the next part. Nobody back then had paid attention to the implication of reading books and how it nurtures a human mind so consequently I had never dared to buy a book for the purpose of healthy-amusement. Even the book stalls at school were for eye-candy, not to actually buy a bulk of paper from them.

From soft-versions of Percy Jackson series to challenges of a boy called Harry Potter I was not only laughed at by myself for the failed efforts of reading but the notion of ineligibility was sinking within me. I lagged in the world of books, imagine I was unaware I had begun to read second section of the Percy Jackson before the first one and more to it, I was reading an excerpt of the book. Imagine!

Cartoonist (credit): Pat Byrnes

I had realized the essence of book reading but I was still failing. My neighborhood-friends had books to read from their father’s office libraries but for a book to travel from a shelf to my home was absolutely eccentric. Anyhow, a few years later when I had made it thunderous at home how I had wanted to read, I was given money to buy one book. Unguided missiles may function but unguided teenagers did not. Without a particular interest, I bought a book in depressing grey and black theme. The earnest desire to have been with a book attracted the sphere of general knowledge. It was a tiny yet thick blotch of monotonous information which had repulsed me once I started to read it.

Source Image: Wardah Books

By the time I had reached my late teens I had stumbled on several books as my bad choices but it was rightly then when I had begun to explore. I, now had the liberty to troll through a book stand. I had developed an interest in history, non-fiction, religion and world affairs so my eyes gleamed as per my interest. I still remember the first book I had finished was “After the Prophet” by Lesley Hazleton followed by another book “A case of exploding mangoes” by Mohammad Hanif. Both books had made me feel accomplished in a personal way because I had not believed in my intellect to comprehend an author’s view before.

Hence, for all those who find book reading as an impossible hobby, you might have been facing similar hurdles. It may seem blurry while finding your niche where best-sellers like the Fault in my Stars, Forty Rules of Love and the Subtle Art of not giving a F are on the sky. Well why do you have to be from the lot of best-seller readers? What shame does it hold to not high-five someone who has read a famous book and you haven’t? Choose books that can talk to you otherwise the books would remain the jewels you will never wear.

I just finished a book yesterday and that gave me a new perspective to work on and in the end it left me with peace, more passion and hope. The book was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. For anybody who has read my blog, I would like to announce that I am not ashamed to have developed the habit of reading in my twenties and that reading always has to be about you, not your image.


  1. It’s never too late to start reading, and there’s also no shame in not being a ‘book person’ when you were young. Glad to find that you did learn to love it eventually though! And The Alchemist is such an amazing book!

Leave a Reply

More reads