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My First Book

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Submitted By Aranyak
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Bibliophobe to Bibliophile.
I hate books. Up until three years ago, that was something I would say on a daily basis. I despised books. The sight of thick hardbound books to an extent scared me. Whenever I saw anyone I knew picking out one of those thick books which wasn't a comic, all I did was ask them how they could go through reading the entire book without completely losing interest and getting 'bored'. While most people in around me read and discussed fantasy books such as 'Harry Potter', 'Artemis Fowl', 'Percy Jackson' etc. with such enthusiasm and zeal, all I could do was wonder how they could read hundreds of pages of printed text in tiny fonts without getting frustrated. I could not comprehend how reading hundreds of pages could in any way be more fascinating than watching a movie adaptation of the same content which saves hours of time and also allows you to live through the entire experience in a fast-paced well directed and acted version of it. It all changed completely three years ago.
I have had a certain obsession to taking up as many challenges as I could possibly have from any and every person I have known. If anyone ever dared me to do an attainable task, I could never turn them down. One such challenge I received was to read an entire fiction book series of at least 6 books. After a period of discussion it was finally decided that it should be a classic series for my first and it ended up being Harry Potter on popular demand. This challenge eventually ended up being one of the few challenges I ever had to encounter where I was least bit motivated to actually complete it. Seeing how little effort I put in to complete the challenge and my resistance to give up on the challenge a new condition was added limiting the time I could take to finish the challenge. The time period allotted to finish the entire series was fixed at a month so as to give me a certain sense of urgency which did not help in the slightest thanks to my usual habit of always procrastinating. At the end of the third week all I did read was the first chapter of the first book with minimum interest. It all felt like reading a regular school text book and somehow try to get through it all and finish it off. At one point the school textbooks did seem more appealing than the book at hand. Eventually it came down to just a week till the end of the allotted time.
Finally during the last week I decided to finally read and at least try finishing off at least one book. I chose to start fresh from first chapter and read 3 chapters daily and finish off all 17 chapters as soon as I possibly could. Next I decided to choose a specific time of the day when I could read and maintain what little interest I had and not drop it midway. Finally I came up with the idea of reading right before going to bed while lying down on bed considering the fact that that is the part of day when I was most active mentally. For the first day of the week, I started off with the first chapter all over again and yet again felt bored and considered dropping it. But then I considered the goal I had set and decided to just get over with it. To try and make it slight bit less boring, I decided to only focus on major events if there are any and avoid the minor details not realizing that that could possibly be the biggest mistake I made while reading. As the book progressed, subconsciously I started picturing the entire scenario in my head and play it as a motion picture while reading. Soon I reached a point where some parts of the story did not make sense to me. I started reading the book all over again forgetting all about the challenge I had and concentrating only on the story. This time I decided to pay attention to each and every minute detail. I realized the images I pictured in my head made it more interesting and decided to put in all the minute details into those images and continue. I realized how so many of the details were left out in movie adaption and how significant each and every minute detail was for each character. Before I realized it, it was already time for sunrise and I was done reading 15 of the 17 chapters from the first book. At that point I did not want to leave the book anymore. I knew I should have gone to sleep. I knew that I needed sleep. But I did not care at that point. All I wanted was to go through all the way to the end and know what happens. I had watched the movie adaptation at least half a dozen times by that time but it did not matter anymore. I wanted to finish the chain of images that were created in my mind even though I knew the outcome. I knew I would not be able to sleep no matter how hard I tried until I reached the end of the book. Finally I ended up spending the entire night awake reading my novel and I did not regret not sleeping. I could barely keep my eyes open at morning. My voice was slurred, but I did not regret spending my time reading one bit.
Eventually I ended up not fulfilling the challenge, failing to finish off the entire series in just one week. All I had left was a tiny section from the last book. I managed to finish off almost the entire series in a week. I had discovered a new thrill. A thrill I had missed out on for years but I did not want to miss out on anymore. I developed a mild form of addiction to reading mystery or adventure fiction novels which soon branched out to many other genres and eventually to non-fiction biographies and specific subject research books. The challenged converted me from a bibliophobe to a bibliophile.

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